Mark Zuckerberg’s E-commerce Giant Facebook Marketplace is Growing By the Day

Mark Zuckerberg - Facebook Marketplace Platform

Facebook Marketplace has become a trusted source for LA’s second-hand scene and a significant competitor to established e-commerce sites. By the end of 2023, Facebook had 3.07 billion monthly active users (MAUs), a 3% year-over-year increase. Up to 40%, or 1.2 billion, of these users are active on Marketplace, according to a March report.

Meta’s second-hand market is challenging industry giants. Marketplace surpassed Craigslist’s MAUs years ago, with Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg noting in 2018 that Marketplace had 800 million MAUs compared to Craigslist’s 55 million visitors in 2017.

In contrast, Amazon had 310 million monthly users in 2023, according to Tech Report, about one-fourth of Marketplace’s MAUs. Marketplace is the second most popular site for second-hand purchases behind eBay, according to a 2022 Statista report.

“This is a growth area,” Charles Lindsey, associate professor of marketing at the University at Buffalo School of Management, told Fortune. “It wouldn’t surprise me if in three years, five years, it actually overtakes eBay.”

Mark Zuckerberg – Facebook Marketplace Platform

Marketplace’s astronomical growth can be attributed to its ease of use and its integration with Facebook, Lindsey argued. “There’s a trust factor because it’s associated with Facebook,” he said. “It has an easy-to-use interface. It’s integrated with Facebook Messenger, so it’s easy to kind of go back and forth.”

Launched in 2016, Marketplace initially aimed to facilitate sales among neighbors, with users offering used items for sale at reasonable prices and coordinating with buyers over Facebook Messenger.

However, it has since evolved into a formidable e-commerce platform, with one in three U.S. Facebook users active on it by 2018. The pandemic further boosted Marketplace due to increased reliance on e-commerce and supply chain disruptions that hampered traditional shopping.

“We’re seeing everyone from artisans hand-making goods, to woodworkers, to car sellers thrive,” Deb Liu, founder and then-Marketplace vice president, told Modern Retail in 2021.

Facebook Marketplace Platform

By then, Marketplace had become a boon for both thrifty shoppers and small businesses seeking unique sales avenues. Springfield, Missouri-based Beautiful Fight Woodworking generated $168,000 of its $266,000 revenue in 2020 exclusively through Marketplace sales.

Nevertheless, the platform faces significant challenges, particularly from scammers and bot accounts. One South Carolina user claimed in February he was scammed out of $18,000 after listing his 2016 Audi for sale on Marketplace. A 2022 ThinkMonkey survey of 1,000 Brits found that one in six had been scammed on the platform.

“What happens offline often makes its way into online environments, and that unfortunately includes scams,” Ryan Daniels, a Meta spokesperson, told Wired. Meta said it works “aggressively to quickly identify, disable, and ban scams and accounts associated with them.”

Jessica Smith
Whether dissecting the strategies of successful entrepreneurs or analyzing the impact of global economic shifts, Jessica Smith's insightful narratives provide readers with a deeper understanding of the intricate workings of the business world.