Facebook Utilizes AI To Improve Marketplace

Keeping the pressure on eBay and other virtual flea markets, Facebook is adding new features to Marketplace. The company is leveraging AI for price range suggestions and auto-categorization.

For example, if a seller is trying to unload his sword collection, Marketplace will now suggest that he set a particular price range, based on previous sword sales. The system will automatically categorize the swordsman’s collection as “hobbies,” based on his photos and product description.

Facebook is also testing camera features that could use AI to recommend products to users.

For example, if a potential buyer shares a picture of a brass door knocker, Marketplace might soon be able to recommend similar knockers for sale nearby.

Looking even farther ahead, Facebook is exploring ways that AI might simplify tasks, like completing outfits or home design projects, according to Deborah Liu, vice president, Marketplace at Facebook.

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“For example, you could upload a photo of your living room and get suggestions on furniture to buy, based on your layout and size,” Liu suggests in a new blog post.

Just how big is the Marketplace community?

Stateside, more than one-in-three Facebook users now visit Marketplace every month, according to internal figure. That's impressive, considering the service has only been around sine 2016.

Meanwhile, amid a rash of security breaches, Facebook is putting a greater emphasis on features that make Marketplace’s users feel more secure.

Using AI, for instance, the tech titan is working to detect and remove items that violate its policies by analyzing the images, content and context within listings.

Within Marketplace, buyers and sellers can now rate each other to signal whether they had a good or bad experience, as well as leave feedback on how they can improve, such as response time, friendliness and reliability.

Along with its various AI-powered enhancements, Marketplace is adding a load of new content from businesses, including cars, home rentals, home services, and deals from ecommerce merchants.

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