The adage generally goes that if Facebook adds an all-new service or copies someone else’s, it’s only a matter of time before the company figures out how to milk it for all its advertising worth. Case in point, Marketplace–the almost-two-years-old section of Facebook that can only be considered a direct Craigslist competitor. Marketplace allows users to post digital classifieds and, as TechCrunch reports, Facebook has started testing ads and promoted listings on it.
Here’s how it will supposedly work: Users can still post free classifieds on Marketplace. If they want to “boost” the post’s reach, they can do that for a fee. This will increase the listing’s reach, and appear up front in more people’s News Feed. In essence, it’s allowing Facebook users to advertise their listings, as well as target them–TechCrunch writes that boosted listings will be “auto-optimized,” meaning the demographic targeting will shift in real time based on who clicks on the post.
And because more money is always better in Facebook’s eyes, not only can users pay to boost their Marketplace listings, but advertisers are now also able to place product advertisements in that part of the site too. In essence, Facebook is doing what Craigslist never did: advertise off of its classifieds.
You can read the full TechCrunch post here.