Already a major seller of e-commerce ads, Facebook (FB) is gradually becoming a big enabler of e-commerce transactions on its site and apps. Monday's launch of a marketplace for selling locally-available goods is just the latest in a string of moves meant to turn the social network into a place where people actively search for and browse goods, services and businesses they're interested in.
But Facebook's latest e-commerce foray isn't that much of a threat to Amazon (AMZN) , and only a slight one for eBay (EBAY) . Rather, its online classifieds leader Craigslist that has the most to be concerned about. And Alphabet's (GOOGL) Google, though not directly threatened, might want to keep an eye on Facebook's efforts due to their potential implications for ad-targeting.
Marketplaces, accessible through the Shopping icon within Facebook's apps (PC support will arrive "in the coming months"), lets Facebook users shop for goods listed by nearby users, either by browsing or searching. Facebook prominently displays a photo (when it's available) with each listing. The company is also betting the fact that a seller's real name and profile is attached to a listing will lead to a higher level of trust.
Taking on Craigslist is a tough challenge, given the online classifieds firm's near-monopoly position in the U.S. But Facebook's giant user base gives it an opening, as does dissatisfaction with Craigslist's stale interface and lack of internally-developed mobile apps (some third-party Craigslist apps exist, however). eBay previously owned a 25% stake in Craigslist, but sold it back to the company in 2015.