Facebook is watching. They’ve been watching the local Buy, Swap & Sell groups that proliferate on Facebook, and today they’re introducing Marketplace, a new feature to formalise it. But don’t expect to get support paying or receiving anything you buy there.

Mary Ku, Director of Product Management at Facebook says that 450 million people visit Facebook buy and sell groups each month, that’s a lot of users. Marketplace will be a place to look for goods in an easier format than some of these local buy and sell groups.

Marketplace in its initial form will be launching this week in only limited markets, but that includes the US, UK, New Zealand, and Australia. The features are limited – Facebook won’t facilitate the payment or delivery of items in Marketplace, but new features will come down the track.

Marketplace will be built into the Android and iOS apps, in a tab reached from the bottom Nav bar in the Facebook app. You can scroll through pictures of goods on-sale near you – or look in other cities. You can specifically search for what you want, filtering results by location, category or price. Goods for sale will have a photo, description and give you a general idea of where it’s located.

Once you’re ready to buy you can Direct Message the seller and arrange payment and delivery/pickup.

Selling goods, is easy, as Facebook says:

  1. Take a photo of your item, or add it from your camera roll
  2. Enter a product name, description and price
  3. Confirm your location and select a category
  4. Post

Though launching on mobile first, Facebook says they will be making Marketplace available on the desktop ‘in the coming months’.

Price: Free
Source: Facebook.