A new online classifieds site, EZPZ.co.za, is integrated with Facebook and Twitter to allow users to easily trade through their extended online social networks. Launched by Kagiso Digital, it gives its users potential reach into the millions of South Africans who use social networking platforms.
The benefit is that it provides a more trusted environment where users can see how they are connected to the people that respond to their ads. The simplicity and social features set the site apart in a competitive and crowded online classifieds market.
To post an ad, users simply type in a text ad of up to 300 characters, then sign in with Facebook or Twitter to post it. From there, their classifieds ad spreads to their networks via Twitter and Facebook and their friends and followers may extend the ad to their networks. It's the power of viral marketing put to work in the classifieds arena.
"We have dabbled in the online classifieds space in the past, but we now believe that we have a unique and powerful model that will enable us to compete against more established offerings in this space," says Attila Bernariusz, divisional head at Kagiso Digital. "Rather than competing head-on with the established classifieds sites, we are offering something closer in nature to the community noticeboard."An ideal channel
With Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter offering a combined unduplicated reach of 4.3 million people in South Africa (according to comScore), social networking is an ideal channel for people to buy and sell second hand goods, look for roommates, and so on, he adds.
"The beauty of social networking is that it is mostly built around real world identities, so you can have more confidence about the people you are dealing with than you would on other classifieds sites." Naturally, environments like Facebook have fake profiles too, but invariably most people only accept friendship requests from people they trust or know.
The group plans to market the new web property through its other websites - including Howzit MSN and Zalebs and through its broadcast properties, which include East Coast Radio and Jacaranda FM. This will help it to build critical mass, says Bernariusz.
The website is now live, with basic posting and searching functionality for online classifieds, but plans include photo uploads, integration with location-based services and a smart phone app.