Facebook Marketplace relaunch powered by Oodle

After its in-house classified ads system failed to take a bite out of Craigslist, Facebook turned to an official outside provider--a rarity for the social network--to revamp the feature.

Caroline McCarthy Former Staff writer, CNET News
Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.
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Classifieds start-up Oodle will be powering Facebook's official "marketplace," the company said Tuesday. Members will be able to use it just like any third-party app on the Facebook platform--the only difference is that this one is official.

"Turning the development and management of Marketplace over to an innovator in online classifieds will give users more advanced ways to create and share listings on Facebook," Ethan Beard, Facebook's director of business development, said in a release. "We're excited by the potential of the Oodle-powered Marketplace application to offer an engaging classifieds experience on Facebook."

Facebook launched its own Marketplace about a year and a half ago, a potential rival to the Craigslist juggernaut. But it didn't really take off, and though it was never formally pulled, Facebook decided to revamp it with Oodle to "further expand the functionality and breadth of the application."

It'll relaunch early next year. Facebook, meanwhile, has been working on developing a PayPal-like payment system for quite some time; it has yet to launch, but presumably could be closely integrated with an official classifieds service.

Oodle also has powered MySpace's classifieds since July.