Looks like the web 5.0 is coming specific solutions or sites relevant to a group of similar users rather than the ad driven business model of the past. Aivars Lode Avantce
Craigslist’s Challenger Could Be an App, or Several
A few days ago an incoming alert caught my eye. Someone had posted a public message through Highlight, an iPhone app that shows people who else is nearby whom they might want to meet.
The note simply read: “Selling 2 face value wilco tix for tonight – share pls. Thanks!”
It was enough to raise my eyebrows. Highlight is a type of application that tries to extend the social graph from the people you know to the people you might know. I’ve seen it used for networking and dating, and as a travel guide in new cities — but never as a targeted, location-based classified ad service.
The notification might be part of the answer to a question raised by my colleague Nick Bilton a few weeks ago: Why has no upstart knocked Craigslist from its perch, despite its outdated design and failure to work nicely with others?
It might not be one site that rises up to claim the throne. It also might not be a site. It might show up in the form of a distributed network of sites and applications, one that connects buyers and sellers who are near each other, linking them through the location-aware, always-on, powerful machines in our pockets.
The Highlight example is one of many. There are several start-ups that are trying to tap into our mobile phones to build out that exact network of listings, but only for people nearby. Yardsale, for example, lets people browse through items for sale — everything from dining room chairs to gaming consoles — based on how far away they are from the person who is selling them.Bondsy is trying to build a marketplace layer over a user’s existing social network. Another service, called Ketup, shows a photo feed of nearby items that are for sale.
Ryan Mickle, one of the founders of Yardsale, said that while the company did not consider itself to be a direct competitor to Craigslist, he thought it could be a healthy alternative.
“We wanted to rebuild the experience of buying and selling,” Mr. Mickle said. “We could streamline it and make it so that if you had some salt-and-pepper shakers that you wanted to get rid of, you could take a picture, upload it, and 15 seconds later it would be available through the app.”
For now, this is tech that is still limited to the one-percenters. Craigslist appeals to people all around the country, and world, because of its simplicity and accessibility. You don’t need to have a fancy phone to sell your old sofa on Craigslist. But Craigslist’s foothold is still largely on the Web — meaning that as the world moves to mobile, companies that are not able to adapt could be left behind. For companies like Yardsale, whose app has been downloaded around 100,000 times, mobile is crucial.
“We can show you the items for sale on your block,” Mr. Mickle said. “The serendipity of what’s available from your neighbor could lead you to finding stuff you didn’t even know you want.”
Soon, one — or all — of these services could be giving Craigslist a run for its money.