- Jolie Odell
Facebook product executive Chris Cox says Facebook has become “like Craigslist” for people in Indonesia.
Speaking on stage at The Wall Street Journal’s WSJD Live conference, Cox said people there used Facebook Groups as a way to sell goods to one another, including baby clothes and spare automotive parts.
That kind of person-to-person commerce was never Facebook’s intention with Groups, he said, but Facebook has since tried to think of ways to make that experience easier.
“When we see emergent behavior like this, it almost always suggests something to us that we could do better,” Cox said.
Though Cox didn’t say it directly, observations like this most likely influenced Facebook’s recent e-commerce initiatives, including the revamped Pages and its plans to create a new, general shopping section that will curate different relevant products in one place for each Facebook user.
The items that appear will be based on which Pages the users have liked as well as, potentially, content being sold in Facebook Groups to which they belong.
Facebook commerce is a huge opportunity for the company. The company’s initial efforts several years ago flopped, in part because people compared shopping on Facebook to pushing commerce into a bar environment, but Cox’s comments on Facebook commerce in Indonesia suggest the company is trying to be much more deliberate with feature rollouts this time around.
“This example in Indonesia is the most interesting behavior that’s going on in commerce on Facebook,” Cox says. “People are really connecting with each other to exchange things.”