Zuckerberg's Empire: Facebook Marketplace Outstrips Amazon Fourfold

Discovering how Gen Z revolutionizes shopping on Marketplace

by Zain ul Abedin
Zuckerberg's Empire: Facebook Marketplace Outstrips Amazon Fourfold
© Alex Wong/Getty Images

Ethan Gaskill, a 29-year-old content creator from Los Angeles, has turned Facebook Marketplace into his daily go-to for unique finds, furnishing his home almost entirely with second-hand treasures and sharing his budget-friendly hauls with over 220,000 TikTok followers.

Gaskill's remarkable finds include a Herman Miller light and pendant for $400, originally valued at $1,000, and a luxury bed from the same designer, purchased for just 20% of its $5,000 price tag. His knack for discovering rare items like a Founders mid-century dresser, acquired for $800 against a $4,000 value, highlights the platform's potential for snagging significant bargains.

Facebook Marketplace, integrated into a social network with 3.07 billion monthly active users by the end of 2023, has seen a dramatic increase in users, with up to 1.2 billion engaging in commerce. This growth positions Marketplace as a formidable competitor against giants like Amazon and eBay.

The site’s user-friendly design and integration with Facebook Messenger enhance its appeal, facilitating easy communication between buyers and sellers. Originally launched in 2016 to enable neighborhood sales, Marketplace has evolved into a significant e-commerce player, especially during the pandemic, which spiked e-commerce activity and disrupted traditional retail due to supply chain issues.

Gen Z's Marketplace Craze

Marketplace's success is also shaping the shopping habits of Gen Z, attracting young shoppers like Dre Vez, a 25-year-old who spends 6 to 12 hours daily on the platform, engaging with sellers and creating content for his 755,000 TikTok followers.

This demographic values the platform not only for economical shopping but also as a social tool, blending commerce with entertainment. Despite concerns about scams, which have been a challenge as the platform scales, Facebook asserts ongoing efforts to safeguard users by quickly identifying and removing fraudulent listings.

This vigilance is crucial as the platform becomes an integral part of Facebook's strategy, drawing more users and thus, more ad views, which are pivotal to the platform's revenue model. In essence, Facebook Marketplace has transcended its origins as a simple online garage sale to become a key player in the e-commerce arena, driven by community engagement and a robust user base keen on both saving and earning through an accessible, social platform.