What is Craigslist?
Craigslist is basically a worldwide classified ad section of a newspaper. They have websites for each major city and surrounding areas as well as rural and small town areas. There are places to post, home sales, home rentals, housemate situations, items for sale, job postings, job wanted postings, services, and a personals section. Each site even has a forum that many people spend time talking about the weather or even politics. Craigslist is known for its simplicity and lack of annoying advertisements all over the place. Most users use all of the features for free, so with no advertisements or fees, many people wonder just how they make money.
How does Craigslist make money?
Craigslist actually has a few surprising ways that they make money. First, they started to charge $25 for a job posting in San Francisco to pay the costs of upkeep for the site. Then they found that they needed to put a paywall in front of posting in some of the larger metropolitan areas to keep spammers from polluting the pages too much. In addition, they now charge to post under some other categories such as “therapeutics”. This developed because law enforcement said that the section attracts ads for prostitution.
The company does not do much in the way of innovation. They are currently hiring in the San Francisco area though. They have a YouTube channel with Craigslist TV and have created a documentary called Craigslist Joe.
In 2004 eBay bought 28.4% of the company. eBay spent years attempting to clone and monetize the site. They failed to do this over and over. On top of the failure to create a replica, Craigslist brought eBay to court for doing what they had done. The suit spent seven long years in the courts when eBay finally lost. They parted ways after Craigslist bought back the 28.4% of the company stake for an unknown amount in 2015.
The founder, Craig Newmark is a very rich man but is said to live a very modest life. He gives a lot of money to charity and other causes that pique his interests, such as journalism. He says that the company was created to be a good internet citizen and get information to people that need it and save them money at the same time. Newmark knows that he will not live forever, but he can’t even bring himself to think about selling the company. He is quoted saying, “I am committed to customer service for the rest of my life.” And, “Death is my exit strategy.”