The Creep of Apps

I have to confess that I’ve been using Facebook (FB) marketplace for about a year. It started out innocently. In an effort to reduce waste and cut down on costs, marketplace offered a way to purchase second-hand goods. I also post things for sale on marketplace. The sale process can be a bit tedious, especially if an item is popular, or unpopular. Also, a lot of people are flakey and noncommittal about following through on buying.

At first I felt weird using marketplace. Initially, I resisted and tried to buy and sell on other sites. But in the end, I gave in. Marketplace is one of the most widely used and popular apps. It offers a wealth of options and is viewed by many. Sometimes things sell the same day I post. Usually I can find something I want to buy within a few weeks. All in all, it was working out pretty well until the process changed.

Even though I relented to use FB marketplace, I refused to download the app. Instead I logged in to my account through a web browser. When I started to sell and buy things, marketplace forced me to download the Messenger app to communicate with other sellers and buyers. It just wasn’t possible to receive messages through the web-based version. I begrudgingly downloaded the app, grumbling, but still accepting the change because of the benefits. Recently, things changed again.

Until a couple of weeks ago, I could always post things to sell through the web-based version. However, the last time I went to post a sale item, marketplace denied the request. A prompt appeared asking me if I wanted to post through the app or “Not Now”. I selected “Not Now” but wasn’t able to complete the draft sale posting I was working on. After several futile rounds, Meta won, and I downloaded the app to continue the sale postings. Even so, the postings still didn’t work the same.

In the web-based version, marketplace automatically suggested other-related groups for the posting to reach a broader audience. However, in the app, posting in other groups isn’t an option, unless I decide to also share my sale postings with my friends. I’m still using it to post things for sale, but now exploring other options that don’t continually force me to use a service a certain way.

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