Facebook Marketplace now lets people hire plumbers and a number of other professionals in the United States, the world's largest social media network said Wednesday, describing the move as the latest step in its efforts to diversify into home services and provide its users with an even more comprehensive platform. While the new Marketplace category is currently exclusive to the U.S., it may eventually expand to other territories, with its testbed market being chosen based on user needs; home services recommendations are the most requested topic among all related queries from American consumers, Facebook says.
The new functionality of the Marketplace is powered by the databases of Porch, Handy, and HomeAdvisor meant to connect users to plumbers, house cleaners, and other types of contractors in a matter of seconds. The Menlo Park, California-based company claims the current version of the service already has contact details for "hundreds of thousands" of highly rated house services professionals across the country, with that database being expected to grow in the future. The system has been designed to be as straightforward as possible, allowing users to easily contact numerous top professionals at once, send them the same project description, then wait for them to respond with quotes. Native Messenger integration provides users with simple means for communicating with contractors following the initial exchange of information, whereas ratings, credentials, and other details about listed professionals are also part of the comprehensive package, Facebook says.
The new feature is currently in the process of being rolled out and should become available on a national level by early summer, coming in the form of a new Marketplace category for house services professionals. During a Tuesday Q&A session with European Parliament members, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said millions of businesses around the world are growing thanks to Facebook's advertising platform and the opportunities it creates, adding that the company is planning to hire 3,000 more Europeans by the end of the year.