Facebook to Offer Classifieds

facebook.jpgFacebook is to offer a free classified ad listings service as an add-on to its popular social networking destination, according to the NY Times.

The report states that the new service, Facebook Marketplace, is aimed at giving users another reason to visit the site as opposed to being a new income stream.

Facebook Marketplace combines the privacy features of Facebook to allow private listings. Users can choose to show listings only to their designated friends or to their broader networks based on high school, college, company or geographic region.

It’s a logical add-on for Facebook. MySpace has offered classified services since inception and Friendster recently announced their intention to launch a similar service. The closed network structure of Facebook creates a higher level of trust amongst users than MySpace, with its more wild west approach of open friend lists. Giving Facebook users the ability to sell only to their closed networks also provides a security layer that you don’t get with services such as Craiglist.

The new service goes live Friday. Classified listings will be grouped in four categories: housing; jobs; for sale and other.

Previous TechCrunch coverage of Facebook here.