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How Does the Facebook Marketplace Algorithm Work?

How Does the Facebook Marketplace Algorithm Work?

With each passing year, shopping gets easier and easier. Facebook’s Marketplace is no different. Members of the Facebook community can buy, sell, and browse different items. It brings people together through a common activity, making the world feel a little smaller.

Facebook Marketplace is somewhere you can easily get a higher number of sales with a much smaller amount of work to do so. You can even find your future home there, too. The concept behind Marketplace’s algorithm is something that we have seen before, but Facebook found a way to improve it and make it more, well, Facebook-like. As per the social network, “Marketplace is a convenient destination on Facebook to discover, buy and sell items with people in your community.” They have found an algorithm that works for them and is easy for people to use and understand. People buy and sell their clothes, furniture, and trinkets on the social network and make money from it. The items will be shipped to the buyers’ doors, and the transaction is complete. It’s quick, it’s easy, and everyone is getting into it.

Though people can pretty much sell whatever they like, there are some rules that users must follow. People cannot sell:

  • Adult products or services.
  • Alcohol.
  • Animals.
  • Event tickets.
  • Gift Cards.
  • Healthcare items (thermometers, first-aid kits, etc.).
  • Illegal, prescription or recreational drugs.
  • Tobacco products or tobacco paraphernalia.
  • Unsafe supplements.
  • Weapons, ammunition, or explosives.

It’s impossible to always know who you are dealing with over the Internet, so it’s important to exercise precaution when buying something from a seller on Marketplace. Facebook’s tips for staying safe are as follows:

  • Protect your privacy.
  • Meet in a safe location (if meeting up with someone).
  • Verify the item in person.
  • Use cash or person-to-person payment methods.
  • Don’t sell recalled items.
  • Watch out for counterfeit items.
  • Be cautious when buying or selling cars.

Anyone can buy and sell items on Marketplace so long as they have a Facebook account. If you want to sell something, click Marketplace in the left menu from Facebook’s homepage. Click + Sell Something, then click Item for Sale. Enter a title for your listing, the price, your location and a category for the item (example: Furniture, Baby & Kids). You can also add a description. To mark an item as Free, you can enter 0 as the price. Click +10 Photos to upload a photo of your item from your computer. You will then click Post. If Post is grayed out, make sure you’ve included a title, price, location, photo and category. After that, you can sell to your heart’s content!

The categories on Marketplace include:

  • Home and Garden.
  • Rentals.
  • Vehicles.
  • Home sales.
  • Family.
  • Hobbies.
  • Electronics.
  • Clothing and Accessories.
  • Classifieds.
  • Entertainment.
  • Deals.
  • Others.

If you have something you want to sell that falls under any of these categories, you are good to go. 

Selling your things on Marketplace has its benefits

There’s no limit to the amount of things you can sell which makes producing a higher number of sales easier than ever. There’s no price limit for buying and selling, which is good for you. By choosing Marketplace over anything else, you can actually help grow your business in the process.

One thing that is not allowed is posting the same item under a different location. If you put a couch for sale in Atlanta, but then you try to sell the same couch in Sandy Springs, Marketplace will not allow you to sell it. Facebook knows when you duplicate a post, and they don’t allow it. Even though this is the case, the market for selling is automatically bigger than it could be elsewhere since there are so many Facebook users.

In addition to selling items, it’s never been easier to pick up new items for your business. No more running to expensive stores to buy simple pieces of furniture for your office. Marketplace automatically shows you offers in your area, so selling and buying things for your business has never been easier. 

Offers shown to you are based on your past searches, so if you’re still looking for the perfect bed frame two weeks later, Marketplace will continue to show you bed frames.

This is a good opportunity to interact with potential new customers. Every new customer matters, and this is an easy way to get more.

Marketplace helps you build a good rapport with your community

If you continue to sell quality products and respond to inquiries quickly and professionally, people will keep coming back to you for future purchases, while Facebook continues to promote your post organically as it knows you are a reliable account.

Facebook doesn’t take one cent of any sales, so that means more money for you and your business.

Marketplace is surprisingly easy to use on mobile, meaning you can answer questions from anyone in the world at anytime, thus creating reliable relationships.

Marketplace and AI

So, how does Marketplace really work behind the scenes? You might be interested to know that it’s powered by AI. That’s right, THAT AI, as in artificial intelligence.

As per Facebook coders:

“For buyers, we use computer vision and similarity searches to recommend visually similar products (e.g., suggesting chairs that look similar to the one the buyer is viewing) and the option to have listings translated into their preferred language using machine translation. For sellers, we have tools that simplify the process of creating product listings by autosuggesting the relevant category or pricing, as well as a tool that automatically enhances the lighting in images as they’re being uploaded.”

The autosuggestion tool exists behind the scenes, so it’s not something you can just access; it’s doing the work for you without you even realizing it. So whatever item you last searched for, Marketplace will have another series of products ready for you to look at next time you make a search. 

Facebook built a multimodal ranking system called Lumos as well as an image understand platform called DeepText. The two work together, and the index for each product includes layers for both the text and images, which is how they determine what shows up for your searches. 

What about advertising on Marketplace? You can use the ad manager to design and create the ad and set your own budget. As per the social network:

Then you’ll select your ad placement. We recommend you choose Automatic Placements for your ad, which allows it to appear on Marketplace, News Feed, Instagram, Messenger and Audience Network.

People can see your ad when they use the Facebook app on their phones to shop on Marketplace. Your ad appears with other relevant products and services on Marketplace, so customers interested in your business can click to your website or app for more information.

As you can see, there are many ways to benefit from buying on Facebook Marketplace, but there are just as many when it comes to selling. If you want to improve your numbers and build your brand on one of the most widely used websites on the planet, consider joining the Marketplace and see what it’s all about.

What have your experiences with Marketplace been? We would love to hear your feedback!

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