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Online marketplace platforms and social networks: a growing similarity

16 June 2020

To create links within their communities based on market relationships, online marketplace platforms have borrowed the codes of social networks. 

When market media is added to social media

Social networks can be used to bring people together for instantaneous interaction. Publicly everyone builds a digital ethos via a profile on Facebook, Instagram or Linkedin, for example. Service marketplaces and social networks are both platforms that position themselves as market-creating intermediaries. The platform economy is characterized by a network effect and can take three forms: content, labor or capital platforms. Service marketplaces and social networks alike are both work and content platforms. Some service marketplaces, such as the BCPE, the central body common to Banque Populaire and Caisse d’Epargne Française, are becoming capital platforms that are being used to bring together professionals, in particular.

In order to optimize the consumer experience, online marketplace platforms want to recreate direct and instantaneous interaction. To facilitate this, chatbots have been emerging that can be compared to private conversations on social networks.










The social network framework has adapted to the buying and selling process


Undeniably, social networks are currently an important means for companies to expand their presence, as well as a means of acquiring new prospects. However, only 36% of small or medium sized companies have a social network presence.

Originally just a place for social media, social networks have integrated a process of market media. They allow companies to interact with their community, to receive feedback on their products or services and additionally as a way of promoting their products and know-how.








Social networks are moving towards the marketplace model

Social networks develop their growth by deploying an option similar to marketplaces.  This plan was not implemented of at the origin of the project. On Facebook’s e-commerce portal, “Marketplace”, we can now buy a wide variety of products and can additionally access certain services such as real estate and rentals. Facebook is not the only network who has integrated a market media as well as being a visibility support for companies. The professional network LinkedIn launched Linkedinprofinder in 2015 which allows companies to find self-employed workers.



We can observe a growing correlation between social networks and online marketplace platforms. These two platforms connect consumers to each other while also catering to supply and demand. They are in this sense complementary web marketplaces


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