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  • Geebo 8:57 am on August 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Facebook Marketplace   

    Is Facebook Marketplace looking to take a bite out of eBay? 

    Is Facebook Marketplace looking to take a bite out of eBay?

    In Facebook’s further attempts to be all things to all people, they are looking to expand their Marketplace feature to include not just private sellers but businesses as well. This would put Marketplace not only at odds with sites like craigslist, but now would pit them against Amazon and eBay as well. Both of the aforementioned online retail titans have allowed businesses of all sorts to sell their wares through their websites for years now.

    The main difference between Marketplace and eBay is Marketplace does not offer a payment service to use like how eBay relies on PayPal. Sellers and buyers are still expected to work out the financial dealings on their own. As we’ve pointed out in the past, since Marketplace doesn’t moderate their ads well, if at all. This could still lead not only to fraudulent transactions but could also lead to other dangerous incidents such as robbery and the like.

    However, it appears Facebook is only halfheartedly behind Marketplace, not as a disruptor in the online retail space, but more as a way to keep users from wandering out of Facebook’s walled garden. As nice as a garden may look, if you try to prevent users from going elsewhere then it’s just a well-groomed prison.

     
  • Geebo 8:53 am on August 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Avocado, Facebook Marketplace, New Zealand   

    A new criminal enterprise is being run on Facebook Marketplace 

    A new criminal enterprise is being run on Facebook Marketplace

    A new scourge of the criminal underworld has been showing up on Facebook Marketplace in New Zealand. It’s the product of a crime wave that is fueling a black market that could have potentially disastrous results by anyone who buys this product. I am of course speaking of the avocado.

    Avocados have become so popular in the Kiwi nation some people have taken to stealing the crops from farmers and selling the stolen fruit on roadside stands. However, law enforcement have taken to shutting down these illegal stands. So the avocado rustlers have taken to Facebook Marketplace to sell their ill-gotten gains. The problem is, some of the avocados are either unripe or still have insecticide sprayed on them which could be hazardous to anyone who tries to eat them.

    To be fair, while we may be poking a little fun at the situation, it does show that Facebook Marketplace is still largely unmoderated, relying more on community policing. Craigslist has shown in the past community policing does not work in the long run and is more prone to abuse than any actual policing.

     
  • Geebo 8:57 am on August 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Facebook Marketplace   

    Facebook Marketplace follows craigslist’s dangerous lead 

    Facebook Marketplace follows craigslist's dangerous lead

    In a previous blog post we stated “Craigslist has nothing to teach Facebook” in terms of content moderation. We defended Facebook stating they have a much better content moderation system in place than craigslist. However, it seems we may have been a bit mistaken in that defense because it seems Facebook Marketplace is following craigslist’s bad example anyway. In a report by Sky News in the UK, their investigation found illegal prescription drugs were allegedly being sold on Facebook Marketplace with impunity.

    Rather than having personal moderation on Facebook Marketplace, Facebook seems to be relying on the craigslist model of ‘community policing.’ The problem with having the community moderate Marketplace is they tend not to report illegal activity. The people who are going to Marketplace for illegal goods are not going to report anything and the people who are going to Marketplace for legitimate uses aren’t actively searching for illegal content.

    That’s also not taking into account Facebook seems to be lax in enforcing their own rules. According to the Sky News report, Facebook initially said the profiles of alleged Marketplace drug dealers didn’t violate their terms of service. The offending profiled weren’t removed until Sky News contacted Facebook personally. Most Facebook users aren’t an international news outlet who can just contact Facebook by phone. So, much like craigslist, it seems Marketplace’s community policing is a lot of lip service.

     
  • Geebo 9:01 am on July 18, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Facebook Marketplace   

    Facebook to place ads in its ads 

    Facebook to place ads in its ads

    It should go without saying that Facebook loves advertising. It’s no secret the social network tries to cram as much advertising into its products as possible. Sometimes it can be as subtle as a post in your news feed, and others can be as blatant as the ads in the sidebar of the site. They’ve even started recently placing ads within their stand alone messenger. However, Facebook is still not content with its advertisement saturation. They still want to place even more ads within their platform, so they’ve decided to place ads within other ads.

    Facebook has now rolled out a pilot program where they’re testing ads within Facebook Marketplace, the service where users already post ads for items they want to sell. So far, these new sponsored ads are only on the mobile version of Marketplace and advertisers are not being charged during the test program period.

    While advertising pays for much of the internet and allows us to have free services like Facebook, how much advertising is too much? Some say we’ve already reached a tipping point with the proliferation of ad-blockers and the like. If platforms become too reliant on advertising, could we see a return to the days of pop-up and pop-under ads, or will services that were once free start going behind a paywall? It’s up to the platform themselves to balance the fine line between profit and user experience. If you lean too heavily on profit it could drive users away, however, paywalls are notorious for driving users away as many people using the internet feel they shouldn’t have to pay for many of the platforms they use.

    Then again, it is Facebook. It’s not like they’re about to lose a ton of users to Google Plus.

     
  • Geebo 9:07 am on June 13, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Facebook Marketplace,   

    Florida Facebook Marketplace shooting shows need for safety vigilance 

    Florida Facebook Marketplace shooting shows need for safety vigilance

    A very sad and unfortunate incident recently took place in Jacksonville, Florida, that involved Facebook Marketplace. A father of two was shot and killed in front of his children when a man giving away a dog on Facebook Marketplace became suddenly violent in the man’s home. The gunman was giving away a dog that he had allegedly found in the back of his truck. The father wanted the dog for his children and asked the man if he could pick the dog up but the man insisted that he drop off the dog at the father’s home.

    When the man showed up at the house the father and his fiancée invited the man in for a drink to thank him for the dog. The man is said to have overstayed his welcome and becomes drunk and belligerent before getting into an argument with the father and shooting him dead. Thankfully the children and the father’s fiancée were physically unharmed.

    Normally, when a murder is committed through the use of a classifieds site, mainly the notorious craigslist, it’s usually a robbery that goes bad. However, it’s not unheard of for freak occurrences like this to arise. Having someone come to your home is never a good idea no matter how trustworthy you think the person may be. As soon as they try to talk you into meeting you at your own home you should immediately say that you’re no longer interested in the item. It’s recommended that you always ask someone who is about to complete an online exchange with you to meet you at a police station as most police stations in the country now welcome these transactions to take place within the safety of their walls. If something does not feel right when making any kind of classifieds transaction, listen to your gut and walk away.

     
  • Geebo 9:01 am on May 26, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Facebook Marketplace, Kodi Box, ,   

    Facebook Marketplace has banned Kodi Boxes. What are they, and why are they banned? 

    Facebook Marketplace has banned Kodi Boxes. What are they, and why are they banned?

    Facebook Marketplace recently joined other places like Amazon and Ebay by banning the sale of ‘fully loaded’ Kodi Boxes by claiming that they promote piracy. So you may be asking what is a Kodi Box and what’s so bad about it? Before we get there we need to explain exactly what Kodi is.

    Kodi is software that you can install on just about any device that not only organizes all your media, but allows you to play your downloaded content on your HD TV. Some devices are sold that have Kodi pre-installed on them. They are very similar to the Amazon Fire Stick or the Google Chromecast. However, Kodi is open source, meaning anyone can either alter the code or make add-ons that allow Kodi devices to stream pirated content. This can include the streaming of first run movies that are still in the theater or pay-per-view sporting events.

    The Kodi Boxes that Facebook Marketplace is banning are the ones listed as ‘fully loaded’. This is thinly-veiled code meaning the boxes can be used for pirated content.

    For those of us who are old enough to remember the advent of cable television, this is akin to the pirate cable boxes from back in the day that would illegally unscramble all the pay channels.

    In conclusion, it’s not illegal to own or use a Kodi Box, unless it runs the apps that allow you to pirate paid content for free.

     
  • Geebo 9:05 am on April 27, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Facebook Marketplace   

    Facebook locks out Marketplace users in bid to fight fake news 

    Facebook locks out Marketplace users in bid to fight fake news

    Recently this blog posed the question “Is Facebook too big for its own good?” Another issue has arisen that requires that question to be asked again, as it seems the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. Users of Facebook’s classifieds section called Marketplace have been complaining about being locked out of their Facebook accounts after placing an ad.

    The problem stems from Facebook’s continuous promise to combat fake news among its pages. Users claim after posting an ad for the first time on Marketplace that they’ve been locked out of their accounts while the ad is being reviewed. However, it’s not the content of the ad that’s causing any red flags, but the ads often include pictures which for some reason is triggering Facebook’s review process for fake content. This is similar to the temporary ban some Facebook users have received for posting inappropriate content.

    Facebook has claimed the glitch in the Facebook Matrix has been corrected and only affected a small number of its users. No answer was given as to what caused the problem in the first place. While Facebook is far from infallible one would think they would test these features more thoroughly before implementing them site-wide. As has been stated before, when Facebook tries to be all things to all people it seems they lose a little bit more quality each time a new feature is implemented.

     
  • Geebo 12:05 pm on December 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Facebook Marketplace, robbery   

    Everything old is new again: Facebook Marketplace used for robberies 

    Everything old is new again: Facebook Marketplace used for robberies

    Back in October, we posted on this blog about how Facebook’s new Marketplace feature was not only rife for abuse, but that the abuses were already taking place. These were some of the same abuses that have plagued craigslist for years.

    Now, industry watchdog The AIM Group, is reporting that Facebook Marketplace is now suffering from an even bigger problem that is also reminiscent of craigslist, robbery. At least two armed robberies have occurred and in one incident a victim was stabbed while being robbed. If history is any indicator, it won’t be too long before the media is calling someone the ‘Facebook Marketplace Killer’. By AIM Group’s own estimate there have been 105 murders related to craigslist as of October, 2016. With as many users as Facebook has, they could potentially dwarf that unfortunate number.

    The problem with Facebook Marketplace is the same that craigslist has always had and that’s the lack of moderation. Facebook is making the same mistake as craigslist by relying on the community to police the ads rather than having in-house moderation. While human curation isn’t the be all and end all to keeping its users safe it can go so much farther than relying on an untrained community. Unfortunately, Facebook has a history of mishandling any kind of human editing staff. With its brand and userbase, Facebook has the potential to be even a bigger criminal hive than craigslist ever was.

     
  • Geebo 9:41 am on October 4, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Facebook Marketplace,   

    Facebook Marketplace already showing abuses 

    Facebook Marketplace already showing abuses

    Facebook recently relaunched its Marketplace section. In a nutshell it’s a space on the Facebook app that allows people to buy and sell various goods to each other. The problem is that it didn’t take long for illegal items and items against Marketplace’s guidelines to be offered for sale on the Facebook App. Drugs, guns, dogs and ‘adult services’ have all been offered for sale on the revamped app.

    Facebook has been slow to remove these ads but has said that in the future they’ll use a combination of community policing and employee moderation to keep future objectionable ads off their site. If history is any indicator it doesn’t seem like Facebook will remove these ads in time. If they take their usual 36 hours to remove an ad, that illegal item could have already been sold. More than likely Facebook will rely heavily on community policing, which if you look at craigslist’s community policing it will be more like the inmates running the asylum.

    Another problem with Facebook Marketplace is that Facebook is trying to keep you in their ‘walled garden’. That means they’re trying to be all things to all people in order to keep them on their site or app for as long as possible. Facebook doesn’t want you to go to any other site besides Facebook. The problem with walled gardens is that walls collapse and gardens die. The more Facebook tries to contain their users the closer it gets to being AOL of the 1990s, and who still uses AOL?

    Instead of using an unreliable service, your best bet is to use Geebo, the safer community classifieds. Here at Geebo we moderate our ads to make sure that nothing illegal or harmful is sold. As a socially conscious service, not only did our CEO Greg Collier eliminate the personals section to protect against human trafficking and other related crimes, but he also eliminated the sale of animals to discourage the use of puppy mills and animal related scams.

    While some online classifieds say that they’re socially responsible, Geebo not only talks the talk but it walks the walk as well.

     
  • Greg Collier 3:28 pm on January 3, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: acquisition, Facebook Marketplace, , Oodle, QVC,   

    Can a Company Become Unique via Acquisition? 

    One of the keys to being successful in business is keeping an eye on your industry – and your competitors. Over the past several years, the classified ads industry, like so many others, has been through its own periods of challenging times. Some of the companies – Geebo included – have adopted new strategies or developed new partnerships to bring something unique to the playing field.

    Geebo, for example, partners with a site called wegolook.com so that buyers of big-ticket items listed in Geebo’s ads in other parts of the country can dispatch an inspector to take a closer look before the transaction is finalized. It’s a differentiator that helps make Geebo unique.

    For some time, I’ve been watching Oodle, a competitor that’s steadily been focusing its business model around social networking, specifically Facebook and its marketplace. Bringing buyers and sellers together via their online friends, as well as their friends of friends, was Oodle’s differentiator. And it seemed to be working for them.

    So, imagine my eyebrow raise when I read last month that Oodle was being acquired by QVC – yeah, that QVC, the shopping company. In blog posts, just as anyone might expect, both companies praise the deal, playing up each other’s strengths and how this will impact the growing world of social commerce.

    It’s definitely an interesting approach and one that probably still has a lot of potential to be shaped, re-defined and groomed.. But I will admit that I also wondered if this is a case of big company swallowing smaller company, tapping into the best of what it does and sacrificing the rest of it down the road. Certainly, I don’t know that to be true, but a post on Techcrunch last month suggested that QVC was especially interested in Oodle’s mobile platform – which would make sense. The question is how much of the rest of Oodle is QVC interested in. At some point we’ll find out.

    I’m a big believer in independence for a company, an investor-free approach that allows a founder-executive to call the shots for the long-term good of the company, instead of for the quick return. I only mention this because, Techcrunch also notes that, in an earlier interview, Oodle execs believed that, through social, they could compete with and possibly even become a major challenger to the biggest players in the classifieds business.

    Is that the way this will play out for Oodle now? Or will the dream that a small company once had be reduced to a bullet point on an annual corporate goals strategy presentation?

    Who knows how this will turn out? Like any good businessman, I’ll be watching to see what works and what doesn’t in my industry.

     
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