Facebook expands its Marketplace section with housing rentals

Sarah Perez

Facebook today announced its expanding its Marketplace listings section to include "hundreds of thousands" of housing rentals in a move that seems clearly designed to take on Craigslist. While users before could post their own apartment listings to this section, Facebook says it's now partnering with sources like Apartment List and Zumper to pull in listings.

These partners will work with brokers, agents and other property managers to fill out the expanded housing section.

In addition, searchers will be able to filter the housing listings via a number of options, like location, price, rental type, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, pet-friendliness and more.

Meanwhile, those who want to post their listings to the site can now do so using 360-degree photos.

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Marketplace continues to be a big focus for Facebook which is intent on turning its social network into a portal for everything you do online or in apps, whether that's checking the weather or sports scores, buying movie tickets, ordering food, searching for jobs, watching videos, playing games, and more.

The end result of all these efforts is that users increase their time on site (or in app), which allows Facebook to collect more data and display more ads.

Most recently, Facebook upgraded Marketplace to include used car ads, including those posted by people and from dealerships like Edmunds, Cars.com, Auction123, CDK Global, and SocialDealer.

Since January 1, 2017, Facebook says search volume for the Marketplace tab has grown 3x worldwide. The new addition of vehicles and now, rentals, were driven by how people were using the service, the company notes.

(11/9/17: updated to clarify Facebook's relationship with brokers, agents and other property managers) 

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