In 2016, Facebook launched Marketplace, which was another tab in the already feature packed Facebook ecosystem that would allow people to buy and sell items. They started in a few countries (US, UK, Australia and New Zealand) and they promised to expand to additional countries later on.
In January this year, Facebook launched Marketplace in South Africa and one month later, they have decided to roll it out to three more countries in the continent: Egypt, Algeria and Morocco. This will be effected over the next few weeks.
“Marketplace will be rolling out in Egypt, Morocco and Algeria over the coming weeks,” a Facebook spokesperson said, according to iAfrikan. “As we learn and get feedback from people about how they are using Marketplace, we will explore expanding into other countries within the Middle East region.”
Rolling this feature out to more markets is good for Facebook. Currently, people sell a lot of merchandise over Facebook groups and the idea of creating a dedicated classifieds section would make it easy for people to trade on Facebook.
Apparently the Middle East and North Africa region spends a lot online, where it has risen from $2.7 billion to $7.3 billion in the last two years from a community with 164 million active monthly users.
This news also comes after the news that the classifieds firm OLX is apparently consolidating its business in Africa and the rollout of Facebook Marketplace would make this industry even more competitive. However, we are still yet to know when Facebook Marketplace will be rolled out to Kenya and be assured judging from the businesses that flourish on Facebook, it might become a success.