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Facebook takes on Craigslist with housing listings

The social network is bulking up its tools for helping people rent a place to live.

Facebook is revamping the housing features of its Marketplace section.

Looking for a new place to rent can be a terrible experience. Facebook says it wants to help.

The social network on Thursday announced an update of the Marketplace section of Facebook, where people can go to buy or sell new and used stuff locally. Now, users in the US will have more options when they are sorting through house and apartment listings in that section.

Previously, the only housing listings on Marketplace were the ones that users posted directly to the platform. After the update, the site will include hundreds of thousands of listings from the housing sites Apartment List and Zumper. That includes listings from brokers, agents and property managers.

People will also be able to filter searches more specifically, by categories like location, price, bedrooms, bathrooms, rental type, square footage, and if the place is dog- or cat-friendly. Those listing a rental can also upload 360-degree photos so potential renters can get a better feel for for the space.

Facebook wants the 2 billion people who visit the social network each month to spend even more time on the site. The Marketplace section helps it compete with sites like Craigslist and eBay. But as Facebook continues to grow and amass influence, it's been under increased scrutiny from lawmakers.

Facebook's Marketplace platform is a little more than a year old and the company has recently been trying to expand it. Last month, Facebook announced new features to help people buy and sell used cars

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