As one of the most popular and successful internet communities of its time, Facebook continues to be looking for ways to rebrand as an all-in-one service. Their newest endeavor to compete with other trending social media platforms is the addition of their “Marketplace” storefront, which allows users to make listings for things such as household items, job postings, and car listings.
Recently, Facebook has made the move into real estate by adding apartment and home rentals onto the Marketplace service, but has included 360-degree photo capabilities and utilizes its current platform to reduce chances of scams, thusly allowing them to compete with the likes of Craigslist.
The company is planning to list its consumers’ properties on Marketplace by pulling property information from partnered sources Apartment List and Zumper, leading to the company possibly becoming a direct competitor of Zillow and other popular home search sites.
For the time being, however, Facebook needs to work out some kinks in its idea. Marketing outside of a multiple listing service limits visibility, so landlords will have to settle with only reaching Facebook users, which can lengthen the process of renting their property. In addition, the service plans to cut out agents, which means there would be no vetting by an experienced agent. This leaves credit checks, references, and rental histories all to the landlord themselves.
For these reasons it is interesting to see how Facebook fares with this venture, and how close of an eye the industry needs to keep on it.