Facebook is testing a form of hyperlocal ad targeting by giving some users the ability to promote Marketplace listings to their neighbors.
Promoted Marketplace listings will also show up in the regular news feed as sponsored posts.
According to TechCrunch, Facebook says this is a small, US-based test and the results will be monitored closely. There are no immediate plans for a wider rollout at this time, which presumably means the company is waiting to see how users respond to this feature.
Just like other promoted posts on Facebook, users can set their own budget and choose how long they want the campaign will last. Promoted listings will automatically be removed when an item is sold.
There are no specific targeting options for promoted Marketplace listings, as they will automatically be targeted to users with nearby ZIP codes.
However, once the listing has been promoted, targeting will be auto-optimized based on clicks. That means Facebook will show the promoted listing to users of a similar demographic to those who have clicked on it.
Prices for promoted Marketplace listings will be determined by an ad auction. When a user pays to promote a Marketplace listing it will be considered alongside other promoted listings that are targeting people in the same area.
The purpose of the ad auction is to calculate which promoted listing delivers the greatest value for both the advertiser and the users being targeted.
Facebook’s Marketplace was launched less than two years ago, and this marks the first time that users have been able to pay to boost their listings.