Facebook Launches Free Classifieds

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By: E&P Staff

Facebook, the popular social networking site, plans to challenge newspapers by launching a free classified site, The New York Times? Brad Stone reported today.

Twenty-two million people use Facebook and most of them are young adults in high school and college. The Times said that according to ComScore, Facebook is the nation?s sixth most visited Web site.

?If we can provide people with efficient tools, they will use the site more,? Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, told Stone.

The service planed for launch today is called Marketplace. Users can create classified listings in four categories, housing, jobs, for sale, and other. Classified posters can control who sees the message by their network of friends, by high school, college, or region.

For now, Facebook plans to keep the classified listings free but could upsell posters by position.

Other social networking sites, MySpace and Friendster, also offer classifieds.

?The advantage of having classified linked to a social network is that you know something about the seller,? Charlene Li, an analyst with Forrester Research, told Stone. ?You are less likely to buy a lemon from someone who is a friend of yours.?

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