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E-commerce

Facebook adds AI tool to Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace has introduced a new feature that aims to make it faster and easier for people to sell items through the Gumtree-like service.

The tool uses artificial intelligence to automatically suggest categories and prices when sellers upload a photo of an item based on similar items that have sold recently.

Facebook is also testing a visual search tool that could eventually allow users to find nearby items for sale on Marketplace simply by taking or uploading a photograph of the item they’re looking for, such as headphones, for instance.

The visual search tool could also be used to do things like complete an outfit, or fill a vacant living room.

“When it comes to shopping online, it’s important to have confidence in the people and businesses you’re buying from,” Facebook vice president of Marketplace Deborah Liu said in a post announcing the changes.

“That’s why we’ve invested in features that create a safer and more trusted community.”

Liu said that Facebook Marketplace will be smarter about detecting and removing items that violate its policies moving forward and will allow buyers and sellers to publicly rate their experiences in order to signal reliability and promote good behaviour. It will also create more robust reporting tools.

“Looking back on the past two years, we’re so inspired by people around the world using Marketplace to do amazing things,” Liu said.

“We’ll continue working to deliver new product features to discover, buy, and sell the things you love.”

The improvements to Facebook Marketplace come shortly after Instagram announced it was expanding its e-commerce capabilities to allow customers to shop and purchase through its successful Stories feature.

Snapchat recently revealed a partnership with Amazon to enter the market by way of visual search, providing further evidence of the growing convergence of social media and commerce.

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