Letgo takes on Craigslist with addition of housing listings

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Everyone wants to be the Craigslist killer. In November, Facebook expanded its Marketplace section to include partners’ housing rentals alongside secondhand merchandise, and today the No. 3 three shopping app letgo is doing the same. The company says that, starting today, its tens of millions of users can now quickly snap a few photos and add a description to list a housing rental or sale on its app.

The app, which has more than 75 million downloads to date, is one of the top apps in its category, today only falling behind Amazon and Wish in the iOS App Store’s Top Free Shopping section. ComScore also recently pegged the app as the second fastest-growing in the U.S., in its 2017 Mobile App Report, putting it ahead of Lyft, Venmo and others based on monthly traffic growth.

Letgo competes not only with giants like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace, but similar secondhand apps like OfferUp, Mercari and eBay, which are all more lowly ranked at this time.

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Today’s addition of housing is the first time letgo has expanded beyond secondhand items.

To take advantage of the new feature, letgo users take a photo, then fill in a brief text description about the property for rent or sale. More photos can be added to the posting at any time, and interested users can use letgo to chat and ask more questions. The app also includes user profiles, so potential renters or buyers can see who they’re chatting with and how they’ve been reviewed by others on the service.

“We see this as the natural evolution of a vast and diverse marketplace like ours, especially as we approach the 100M-download milestone,” said letgo co-founder Alec Oxenford , in a statement. “We’ve designed letgo to make it effortless to list what you don’t need and find what you do in your own neighborhood, whether that’s a snowboard, an SUV or a two-bedroom apartment with a view.”

The company says its users have posted more than 200 million secondhand listings to its service since its launch in 2015, but declined to share how many of those translated to sales, its revenue or how many users are active on its app on a monthly basis, beyond saying it’s “in the tens of millions monthly.”

Letgo also told us its users have sent more than 3 billion messages in its app to date, and it sees tens of million repeat visitors on a monthly basis.

The move follows Facebook’s launch of partners’ housing rentals in November, which included pulling in listings from sources like Apartment List and Zumper. However, the social network had already allowed users to post their own listings to this same section. Letgo’s implementation is different because it’s not using partner data at this time. (Facebook also now allows for Home Sales listings, the same as letgo.)

Letgo still has a way to go to become a viable competitor to Craigslist, however. While Facebook’s Marketplace has expanded beyond secondhand goods to also include vehicles, jobs, tickets and daily deals, in addition to secondhand items, letgo is only now entering this broader market of
“non-merchandise.”

The company says the new functionality is rolling out gradually across its marketplace and will be available to all U.S. users by the end of the month.

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