Facebook has announced that the latest Afrikan countries where their online peer-to-peer Marketplace offering will be available are Algeria, Egypt, and Morocco. Facebook Marketplace will allow users in the three North Afrikan countries to buy and sell goods with other people in their local community.
This follows quickly on the launch of Facebook Marketplace in South Africa earlier in January 2018. According to Facebook, the service will be available to their users in Algeria, Egypt, and Morocco over the next few weeks.
"Marketplace will be rolling out in Egypt, Morocco and Algeria over the coming weeks. As we learn and get feedback from people about how they are using Marketplace, we will explore expanding into other countries within the Middle East region," said a Facebook spokesperson.
To cater for the North Afrikan countries, Facebook Marketplace will be available in Arabic. Once the service is available in Algeria, Egypt, and Morocco in the coming weeks, it will bring the total number of countries globally that use Facebook Marketplace to 51.
The announcement of the pending launch of Facebook Marketplace in Algeria, Egypt, and Morocco comes at an interesting time in the online classifieds sector as OLX is reported to be shutting down all its other offices across Afrika except in South Africa. Proving how tough, and possibly saturated, the online classifieds sector is in Afrika.
“The MENA [Middle East & North Africa] region has seen a tremendous growth in online spending along with internet penetration, rising from $2.7 billion to $7.3bn over the last two years,” said Jonathan Labin, Facebook’s managing director for Mena and Pakistan. With an existing community of 164 million active monthly users in the Arab world, Facebook already has an audience that spends a lot of time on the platform - adding a mobile commerce function can help cement Facebook as the go-to app for almost all of one’s internet-related needs,” concluded Facebook's spokesperson.