Will Kijiji be able to take on or surpass craigslist as the go-to place for online classifieds? Of course it's hard to say. But in the Internet world, it seems anything is possible with the right mix of interface, perseverance, and critical mass.
This weekend a funny thing happened. I was online discussing Kijiji with a friend of mine, Paul Rapa, a commodities analyst who has a lot of thoughts on the topic, and I popped over to Kijiji to see what was up. It was interesting to be confronted with the big green U.S. map right away on the first page, but certainly eye-catching and clean.
So, lo and behold I drill down to the Washington, D.C. area where I live, and I find a estate sale listed just down the road from me. For whatever reason, I did not also see it on craigslist at that time.
Paul has these thoughts: "In order for
them to defeat Craigslist they would have to add Skype to Kijjii soon and drop
that dreadful name."
Also, craigslist is pretty efficient at eliminating spam, flagging postings, and self-policing its community. Whereas "Many of the ads on Kijiji NY are inserted 10x each," says Paul. "If Ebay wanted to get serious in fighting Craigslist they should have a fiilter to prevent these ads."
And yet, one journalist I read (I can't remember who now) was complaining that craigslist was slow to implement improvements..for example, he wanted a better way to filter items in his surrounding areas or different distances.
Paul thinks eBay should use the myworld domain instead of Kijiji. Other thoughts of his...
Stumbleupon and Kijijii have areas for dating -- "they can get a jump start on all the dating sites by combining with Skype video and chat...Skype video can be huge on a dating site."
It will be interesting to see how this kijiji-craigslist thing plays out. (And if eBay has a 25% interest in craigslist, does it make it some kind of internecine fighting?).