Swapit adds 60,000 Member-Strong Buy & Sell Community from Facebook

swapit-blog_hkWe are proud to announce that the largest Hong Kong-based English-speaking buy & sell group on Facebook “Swap It HK” has officially joined forces with Swapit. This now extends Swapit’s reach of customer base by 60,000 instantly. The Facebook has been re-branded to “Swapit HK” now.

The Facebook Inspiration

From the onset, Facebook groups have been our inspiration for Swapit. The idea behind Swapit came about when we ourselves realized that trading through Facebook groups is actually not that easy. Yet, many people keep doing it for various reasons.

We’ve been talking to a lot of those users. Many of which are users of our Swapit mobile app, but we’ve also been talking to many people on Facebook who use Facebook groups for trading. Most of them like Facebook groups, because all of their friends and friends of friends are on Facebook. So they keep using Facebook groups despite all the many downfalls and disadvantages they have (poor discovery, bad communication, no location, etc) – just go to one of my pitches and I can talk for hours on that topic.

The Facebook Integration

swapit-blog-interestsWe recognize Facebook as a great social media, which most people in the world would not want to miss. We know people love to hang out on Facebook A LOT every day and we know they will continue to interact with their friends and family on Facebook. Recently, people are more and more communicating with brands and shops on Facebook too.

provide more value

It was a natural step for Swapit to embrace such already established behavior of our users and provide more value to them. Very early on, we started integrating Swapit with Facebook, which makes it very easy to share any item you post on Swapit, with your friends on Facebook, and also to share that into certain Buy & Sell Facebook groups.

The Swapit HK Facebook Group Stats

There is some impressive amount of trading happening in that one Facebook group. Here are today’s key stats about it:swapit_marketing-chart-grow

  • Total Members: 62,362
  • Sale Posts: 72,234
  • #1 Category: fashion

Stats as of December 9th, 2016.

The Facebook group is by far not growing as fast our Swapit marketplace in terms of members or how we call them “registered traders”. However, their smaller user base seems to be quite active and both sides will benefit from a deeper integration.

The Swapit Opportunity

We’re working hard at Swapit to make our mobile marketplace better for everyone. Among many others, this includes Facebook users as well, of course. We are actively engaging with that community on Facebook and are collecting a lot of feedback. Based on that, we’ve already implemented many changes to our Swapit mobile apps to ensure a smooth transition of such Facebook group members to mobile app users.

We are absolutely dedicated to creating the best mobile marketplace, which offers the best tools, best user experience and best social media integration. We are working hard on convincing each every of those group members that our Swapit mobile marketplace is an extended version of their Facebook group with a lot more benefits for buyers and sellers. So we continue to extend our integration and work together for a better future for all of us.

So stay tuned and make sure you’ve got Swapit installed on your Android phone/tablet or iPhone. By the way, we will upload new Swapit app releases today. So more features and better integration is coming your way!

Have you tried the Swapit app yet? Get it for free from: http://get.swapit.la/now

Does Facebook Marketplace want to be like Swapit?

Facebook just introduced Marketplace. They describe it as:

[…] today we’re introducing Marketplace, a convenient destination to discover, buy and sell items with people in your community.

facebook-group-settingFacebook has had Facebook groups for many years. People liked to meet up there, post their stuff for sale, arrange meetups and so on. We at Swapit have been using it and the experience was horrible to finally get to the point to buy what you really wanted. Facebook must have realized that a while ago and did start to introduce “buy and sell” features into Facebook groups. When operating a Facebook group, you could then choose the type of that group and as you can see in the screen shot, facebook-sell-postthe “Buy and Sell” type adds certain functionality to that group. In particular, this adds extra fields for people to enter, like “price”, “title” and “location” (e.g. city). It looks like on the screen shot on the right.

Yet, these were all Facebook groups, which you had to manually navigate to, or you would get to their listings if you’re a member of a group and other members of the same group post items — because it would show up in your Facebook feed.

In Facebook’s recent announcement they specifically mentioned this one improvement that will change the way people on Facebook will interact:

To visit Marketplace, just tap on the shop icon at the bottom of the Facebook app and start exploring.

So Facebook added a little icon at the bottom tab par of the app, so you can easily access such “marketplaces”. Of course, there are other improvements like categorization for example. Yet, it is nothing overly dramatic at this stage. Furthermore, they’re only launching in four countries at the moment (US, UK, Australia, New Zealand). More will launch soon, I am sure.

Why did Facebook introduce Marketplace?

According to Facebook the launched Marketplace because they realized that:

More than 450 million people visit buy and sell groups each month[…]

My personal belief is, they’ve also realized the spam that was associated to those 450m people buying and sell. Let me explain.

All the traffic in those buy and sell groups, all the posts and comments, started to pile up and clog up each user’s Facebook feed. Personally, I am doing a lot of research in terms of trading on Facebook and for that purpose I am a member of 100 groups on Facebook – most of which are buy and sell groups. The sheer number of posts that are flowing through my Facebook feed daily is just way too much, and the vast majority of those are buy and sell posts. Almost all of those buy and sell posts are not relevant to me, nor are they anywhere near any location, and therefore, I personally consider them actually spam. To improve that experience and only present relevant sale posts to potential buyers, we have created the Swapit mobile app.

Facebook has been great over the years, to realize the pain points of their users and improve their product to remove friction. So I believe, by introducing “Marketplace”, Facebook wants to carve those massive amounts of buy and sell posts out of people’s ordinary Facebook feed and bundle them in a dedicated place just for trading.

As a Facebook user, I think this is a great step for Facebook to clean up my feed and make sure I only see relevant information from my friends and family, which is what I use Facebook for mainly.

What does Facebook’s Marketplace mean for the industry?

While all of that sounds very much like direct competition to Swapit, it is much more a direct competition to other players in the market. I particularly like TechInAsia’s take on this: Facebook’s Local Market could be Carousell and Tokopedia’s worst nightmare

And that might in fact become true.

Carousell, Tokopedia, Rakuten, Shopee, letgo, Shpock, OfferUp, you name it; are all traditional marketplaces operating on a traditional classified model. Their way of connecting buyers and sells with each other is rather passive and driven by buyer initiative and mostly actually by luck. Let me give you a quick example: As a buyer, you go onto Carousell and search for “Green Sofa”, but you don’t find one. Yet, you really want a green sofa! (who doesn’t want a green sofa?) So what do you need to do? You have to come back and search for it again — hoping that time you will find one. The Facebook Marketplace is not different. It’s basically, the Craigslist model brought into the mobile world with a beautiful layout and pretty pictures. For Facebook, though, it comes with very strong social connections as well.

So yes. Facebook Marketplace may be the biggest threat to our competition as there does not seem to be any key differentiator between them and Facebook Marketplace — except for the fact that Facebook has by far the largest active user base — in the world.

swapit_screenshots_1-13-2-3_4_map-distribution

Central Hong Kong

How is Swapit different?

In one word: hyperlocal. From the onset, Swapit has been built with the mindset to efficiently connect buyers and sellers, who are nearby each other in real-time. Every single item posted on Swapit has a highly precise location attached to it, which can be mapped precisely on a map.

Based on that small yet important piece of information, our Swapit trading platform looks for potential buyers who are nearby the seller’s location and are interested in the item you are selling. See Swapit Alerts for more on that.

As opposed to our competition (including Facebook Marketplace now), Swapit does 3 essential things better:

  1. Timely Sensitive
    Swapit reaches out to buyers in real-time, right when an item becomes available. It’s snappy, it’s quick, it happens when it needs to happen; right now. That’s exactly what our on-demand society wants today.
  2. Location Specific
    Swapit connects only people who are nearby each other. I am not talking about “same city” like Facebook mentions. I am talking about “within 500 meters” (approx. 5 minute foot walk). It’s truly nearby and the item can be reached right now.
  3. Contextually Relevant
    By only presenting items the buyer is really interested in, all of a sudden all automated communication from the Swapit trading platform to the buyer ends up to be contextually relevant. Swapit cuts through the clutter and provides only that kind of information buyers are really looking for.
swapit-blog-immediacy     swapit-blog-location    swapit-blog_request

 

Why being Hyperlocal is such an Advantage

The world is changing. Today, more than 50% of the world’s population lives in an urban environment and that number is projected to increase over the decades to come (according to the World Bank). As a result, more and more people are moving to cities, which as a result become more and more densely populated.

The Swapit team is based in Hong Kong – one of the most densely populated places on planet earth. We believe, to some extend, Hong Kong is some kind of blueprint for how metropolitan cities will look like in the future. More people will take public transport, or Uber their way without an own car. More and more people will live in smaller and smaller apartments to preserve space and costs in cities that have limited space. Socially, the way of life will become more and more anonymous, to the fact where you don’t know all of your neighbors or even in years of living in the same building, you’ve never even met each of them at least once.

Swapit has been built and is continuously being improved for that very way of life. We are building a product for the future that has already started to happen. We are not stuck in the traditional classifieds model, but we embrace the connectivity and on-demand culture of our time.

Swapit is hyperlocal and no one else is.

Do you want to trade hyperlocal too? Get Swapit from http://get.swapit.la/now

Swapit Updated: Post & Share to 710,000 Facebook Group Members

Swapit just got updated with incredible sharing features.

Get the latest update from your favorite app store: http://get.swapit.la

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Swapit has always had a tight integration into Facebook and now we’ve just lifted that to the next level. After posting an item for sale (or for free), you can easily share your item on Facebook. It only takes the flick of a button and your item will reach up to 710,000 people in various buy and sell Facebook groups.

Besides our loyal Swapit community of now 114,000 enthusiastic traders, we now increase your potential reach by 6-fold.

Of course, this feature is available to all of our users. This includes all of our great users who are on a free account right now, but also our Premium subscribers.

Have you tried Swapit yet? Get it from http://get.swapit.la/nowhttp://get.swapit.la/now

Win a OnePlus X Android Phone with Swapit

We just launched a give away called “INVITE+WIN” where we are giving away a brand new OnePlus X phone. All you need to do is:

  1. Download the Swapit App: http://get.swapit.la
  2. Open the Swapit App
  3. Invite 10 friends inside the app

That’s it. Isn’t that easy?

2015-11-17_oneplusx_600

The OnePlus X is the latest phone of the great folks at OnePlus. Here are some key specs of the phone you can win:

  • Model: OnePlus X
  • Color: Onyx Black
  • CPU: 2.3 GHz Quad-Core Snapdragon 801
  • RAM: 3 GB
  • Storage: 16 GB, expandable to 128 GB
  • Camera: 13 MP back, 8 MP front
  • Connectivity: Dual SIM 4G/LTE, WiFi
  • Display: 5″ 1080p, 441 PPI, OLED, Corning Gorilla Glass 3
  • OS: OxygenOS based on Android 5.1.1 Lollipop

All details about the OnePlus X can be found at: https://oneplus.net/hk/x

HOW THE WINNER WILL BE SELECTED

This promotion runs until November 30th, 2015. Right after that, we will announce all participants and their individual chances to win. (Hint: it’s possible to increase your chances to win. You’ll see how that works inside Swapit.)

We will then randomly select the winner of the OnePlus X and contact him or her by email. If that winner does not get back to us within 24 hours, we will re-draw the winner and contact that person as well. That process will be repeated until we hear back from a winner within those 24 hours.

So the whole process is pretty straight forward and we are as transparent as possible about it. Please feel free to ask, should you have any question.

You want Swapit now? Download Swapit from http://get.swapit.la and follow the instructions above.

Notice to iPhone/iPad and other non-Android users: Swapit is currently only available for Android. Thus, only Android users can participate in this Give Away. If you don’t have an Android phone or tablet, ask your friend who has one, to join this Give Away.

 

To tease you a bit, here some photos of the OnePlus X which just arrived at the Swapit HQ and is ready to be handed out to the winner soon!

These photos were taken with a BlackBerry Passport.

 

Read more about this promotion:

  1. Win a OnePlus X Android Phone with Swapit (incl. phone specs)
  2. OnePlus X Give Away Update
  3. OnePlus X Give Away – 3 Days Left
  4. OnePlus X Give Away – 24 Hours Left

Post Once and Reach 221,000 Potential Buyers Instantly

swapit_marketing-messagingIn our Swapit beta 9 we introduced sharing to Facebook groups. It is dead simple and can be done within a few seconds. Now, we have added more groups to our list of supported Facebook groups.

221,000 People on Facebook at Your Fingertips

In total, you can now easily reach all members of all groups swapit integrates with. As of today, that totals up at around 221,000 people. While those folks are not necessarily well targeted, as they include just everyone in those groups, reaching out to them still allows you to spread about the item you are selling my a multitude! We initially launched our Facebook group sharing with just 3 hand-picked groups that allowed you to reach 15,000 people. We have now extended that to a total of 13 groups with a much larger member base.

Post Once – Reach Many

We have always believed to make it as easy as possible for buyers and sellers to find each other. One piece in the puzzle to accomplish this, is our “post once, reach many” approach. In terms of making your sale fast, it is more likely to find a buyer through Swapit faster than through any other app, website or social media. Just because Swapit uses its unique technology to pro-actively reach out to potential buyers who are nearby right now. However, we also acknowledge that we all need to save as much time as possible and we want to be as productive as possible. Therefore, we believe, we can make everyone’s life easier by allowing such quick and easy shares to Facebook. As a seller, you only need to take your photos once, enter the title / description / price once and then hit “publish”. This is a much more efficient way of selling items, than any other platform or app we know about.

swapit_pop-hkExpanding Facebook Group Integration

We are currently working on getting more Facebook Groups on board, to reach roughly 500,000 members that can be addressed within a few seconds. We believe, from a seller’s perspective, this is the most attractive, most efficient and most convenient way to post items for sale.

Stay tuned for new updates coming to Swapit soon!

Have you used Swapit yet? Download is free: http://get.swapit.la

Swapit beta 9 – Launched – Facebook Groups, 18 New Categories, 中文

swapit-blog_beta-9After our last Swapit beta 8, we silently launched a beta 8.1 right after that. Then we had planned to launch beta 8.2 shortly after that as well, but the changes got so big, so significant, that it became our official Swapit beta 9.

Swapit beta 9 can now be downloaded from Google Play.

Just go to http://get.swapit.la and get it now!

So what’s new in our beta 9? Let me get right to that.

18 New Categories

With this beta, we are introducing 18 new categories and are slightly re-organizing our existing ones. We are also introducing the concept of premium categories on top of our normal categories. In total, we are now offering 22 different categories, you can post your stuff in, or you can filter by, when searching for items.

On the right you can see how the beefed up filter panel looks like in Swapit now. To give you a textual overview, these are all the categories Swapit now supports:
swapit_screenshots_1.0.0.37-8_categories-filters

  • Consumer Electronics (formerly “Gadgets”)
  • Fashion
  • Baby & Maternity (formerly just “Baby”)
  • Furniture
  • NEW Books & Magazines
  • NEW Toys & Games
  • NEW Home, Garden & Tools
  • NEW Jewellery & Watches
  • NEW Beauty & Health
  • NEW Sports & Outdoors
  • NEW Food & Drinks
  • NEW Home Appliances
  • NEW Computers, Tablets & Accessories
  • NEW Mobile Phones & Accessories
  • NEW Cameras & Photo
  • NEW Artwork & Antiques
  • NEW Tickets & Vouchers
  • NEW Pets & Supplies
  • NEW Properties PREMIUM
  • NEW Yachts & Boats PREMIUM
  • NEW Cars & Motorcycles PREMIUM
  • NEW Debentures & Memberships PREMIUM

While it sounds rather simple to add new categories, we actually had to deal with many forward thinking approaches. The future is bright, it comes with many opportunities and Swapit is ready for change — big change!

Chinese 中文 Language Support 啦!

swapit_screenshots_1.0.0.37-9_chinese_smudged

Swapit 現有繁體中文版!立即下載試試吧!

Since beta 1 of Swapit it was possible to post items with Chinese title and description. Swapit was built from the ground-up with multi-language support. This does not just include Chinese, by the way.

Now, we have finally gotten around to translate the app itself into Chinese. We have seen a lot interest from the local Chinese community and now it is time to cater to all of you as well. We are sure you will love it.

This does, by the way, also apply to the app presentation (description, screen shots, etc.) on the Google Play store. Head over there now and check it out: http://get.swapit.la

Facebook Group Sharing – Reach 20k Potential Buyers Instantly

In our last beta we introduced easy sharing of items to your Facebook timeline. Now, we added capabilities to share your items into Facebook groups. At the moment, we are working with three groups that have over 20,000 members locally here in Hong Kong, which expands the reach of potential buyers dramatically. We will be adding more groups soon to increase the potential reach even more.

There were also several minor improvements to the user interface, layouts and performance, as well as bug fixes, which made its way into this beta 9. More improvements are still to come. Stay tuned and do reach out to us, should you have suggestions. We’d love to hear from you!

Want to check out Swapit? Go to http://get.swapit.la and download it for free.

Swapit Secures Support Worth $30,000 from Facebook’s FbStart Program

swapit-blog_fbstartSwapit has just been accepted into Facebook’s FbStart program which gives us access to $30,000 worth of startup services. With great honor, we appreciate the trust brought towards us by the FbStart team. Here is what FbStart is about:

FbStart is a new program from Facebook designed to help early stage mobile startups build and grow their apps.

At Swapit, we are dedicated to take full advantage of the tools and services given to us. Some might not apply to us, but others are really useful. To give you a quick overview of what we can tap into, here is a list of companies that are partners of FbStart and provide some of their services to us:

Category BUILD – Everything you need to build your app and your business

Parse, Adobe, Appmethod, Asana, Balsamiq, GitHub, Mobile Action, Namecheap, Proto.io, Rocket Lawyer, Transparent Business, UserTesting, Yandiki

Category GROW – Grow your app’s reach and engagement with these great tools

Facebook, Facebook Marketing Partners (Nanigans, Glow, Ampush, AdParlor, Social.com), Desk.com, Hootsuite, MailChimp, Transifex, Workable, Zendesk

Category MONETIZE – Start earning revenue from your app with our monetization partners

Stripe

Here is a quick overview:

2015-09-29_fbstart_program_partners

Again, we are absolutely delighted to be part of the FbStart eco-system and are looking forward to work together. We have already integrated Facebook into Swapit. We are looking to do much more on that front and revolutionize the way people trade pre-loved items nearby.

Have you tried Swapit yet? Download it at http://get.swapit.la

P.S.: Just in case someone is interested, this is the information I left the RISE conference this year where the FbStart folks talked to me. Seems it worked out to follow up on it.

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