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Facebook has launched a Marketplace feature to let people buy and sell items locally, in a move that could rival sites like eBay and Craigslist.

The new feature will debut in the US, the UK, Australia and New Zealand, the firm said in a blog post. A smartphone app will be made available in the next few days with a desktop version due in the coming months.

The new feature puts Facebook in direct competition with increasingly popular local online selling platforms.

The social media site is already being used for selling and buying via Facebook groups.

“In recent years more people have been using Facebook to connect in another way: buying and selling with each other,” said Mary Ku, director of product management, in the company’s blog.

“This activity started in Facebook Groups and has grown substantially. More than 450 million people visit buy and sell groups each month.”

Facebook will not be involved in the payment process and will not charge for putting items up for sale at the moment.

It is not the first time the social media giant has tried to expand into the second-hand market. It originally launched a desktop-only classifieds marketplace in 2007

Facebook shares traded marginally higher on Monday in the US while shares in eBay fell by more than 1%.

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