Looking for Gen Z shoppers? They’re on Facebook

For young shoppers, Facebook Marketplace is the new Craigslist.

Where do you go if you need an old-timey popcorn maker, a set of eight dining chairs, and a baby grand piano?

A grand piano, a chair, and a popcorn maker on a background of Facebook Marketplace homepage screenshots.

Facebook Marketplace, of course. (And yes, those were the first results for a Boston-based search.)

We all know that Facebook has fallen from grace. Once atop the social media hierarchy as the place to be, it’s become a relic of the past where estranged relatives post annually for your birthday.

The numbers back it up: Teen usership of Facebook dropped from 71% in 2014 to 33% in 2023, according to a Pew Research Center survey. In its place, YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat reign supreme.

But Facebook has one feature that keeps young users from deleting their accounts: Marketplace, which Gen Zers are using regularly to shop, per The New York Times.

  • Facebook Marketplace, which launched in 2016, has 1B+ monthly active users and ~40% of Facebook’s 3B+ users shop on Marketplace.
  • An estimated 491m users log into Facebook just to use Marketplace.
  • In 2022, the number of Marketplace users increased 3.6% YoY.

Now, Marketplace ranks just behind eBay as the second most popular site for secondhand shopping in the US.

That checks out

Some prefer Marketplace to good ol’ Craigslist because of the familiarity of the social platform and its perceived trustworthiness — buyers can chat with sellers via Messenger and view their profiles and ratings to gather more information.

(Though there are definitely still scammers; Meta has some tips for avoiding them.)

Plus, young shoppers love buying secondhand. It’s cost-effective — an important factor when you’re young and inflation is up — and it’s more sustainable than buying new, something Gen Z also values.

Not to mention, that generation is increasingly shopping directly through social media: According to a 2023 study, 68% of Gen Z consumers search for products on social media, and 22% complete those purchases — the highest rate across all generations.

Among social commerce options, Facebook comes out on top: Over 51% of all social media shoppers made their most recent purchase on Marketplace.

Now we’re about to add to that stat — gotta go make an offer on that popcorn machine.

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