Marketplace was created by Facebook in 2016 as a platform where buyers and sellers within the same location could locate themselves easily. Although the platform has been in existence for about five years now, it only became available for use by Nigerians this week.
It is still a mystery to many why Nigeria that has the most Facebook users in Africa boards the Marketplace train later than every other African country. Countries like Kenya, South Africa and Ethiopia already have the platform in use in their countries. The launch of Marketplace in Nigeria goes in line with the country’s ongoing efforts to boost buying and selling in Nigeria as explained by Facebook’s head of Public Policy for Anglophone Africa; Ikenze Adaora. During the Coronavirus pandemic, e-commerce found its stronghold in trade as buyers and sellers shifted to digital trading. Launching Marketplace in Nigeria is, therefore, aimed at harnessing the benefits triggered by the pandemic.
Marketplace is literally an online market and is designed specifically for buyers and sellers to connect unlike Facebook that is a social platform. Marketplace in Nigeria comes at a time where e-commerce is thriving the most, and has become the most convenient way to buy and sell. Marketplace promises to provide Nigerian buyers and sellers with convenience, ease of use and a market-like experience.
Marketplace has policies in place to reduce and prevent fraud on the platform. Only users 18 and above who have been on Facebook for some period of time can use Marketplace. This makes it safe to use. Also, there are some eligibility requirements that must be met before one can become a seller on Marketplace. One advantage of Marketplace for sellers is that products are not limited to Marketplace alone. Products are visible to Facebook users too. Prospective buyers are advised to verify items and shipping arrangements, and should always meet in public places when they do not want a delivery option.