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    November 3, 2015

    Facebook begins testing ‘Local Markets’ feature

    Facebook is presently testing an interesting new feature; the ability to buy and sell items over its network in local areas.

    In a greatly similar approach to how South Africans make use of Gumtree and OLX, Facebook has replaced the Messenger icon at the bottom of the iPhone Facebook app with a ‘Local Markets’ icon for some users in Auckland, New Zealand, Melbourne, and Sydney.

    Facebook’s move in replacing the Messenger app icon is unsurprising, as the firm is ardent on furthering the Messenger platform as a standalone application.

    The social network’s endeavour with Local Markets is likely to offer an ‘official’ method of purchasing or selling items over the site, as many private and public groups already have attempted to cater such a service to users.

    Earlier this year in October, Facebook confirmed that it would start testing new advertisement features that would enable users to purchase content directly from the site or its mobile applications.

    Emma Rodgers, head of product marketing for commerce under Facebook, stated that “We’re looking to give people an easier way to find products that will be interesting to them on mobile, make shopping easier and help businesses drive sales.”

    Facebook has not yet confirmed when the feature will see a global rollout.

    What are your thoughts on Facebook’s Local Markets feature? Could it pose a challenge to the likes of Gumtree and OLX in South Africa? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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