It has been a long time since I’ve written or even thought about “classifieds.” However, the other day I got a look at a new Canadian site that puts a more social and “pinteresting” spin on the genre.
Diggit is a new network of sites that has just launched (in beta) across Canada. Created by a company called Semadic, Diggit seeks to bring the “classifieds” into the world of “collaborative consumption” and peer-to-peer marketplaces.
According to Tish Hill, CEO of Semadic, the site aims to present a browsable (and trusted) local marketplace with the kind of visual appeal that Pinterest offers. There’s a heavy dose of social in there as well. If users sign in with their social media accounts the site will quickly create a profile based on the underlying data. Users can also follow one another.
Hill, who is also a board member of the International Classifieds Media Association, told me that newspaper publishers have approached her and are interested in potentially white labeling the site.
What’s also interesting about Diggit is that it will enable online/mobile commerce by being a payments platform as well. Individuals would buy through the site and sellers would receive payment from Diggit. There would be no direct cash or check transaction, which would take the risk and much of the friction out of peer-to-peer selling.
The payments component isn’t live yet but Hill says it will launch in March. And in a somewhat unique twist Diggit will allow buyers to effectively reserve an item online and then finalize the transaction via mobile after they’ve had a chance to look at it in person.
In addition to peer-to-peer selling Diggit aims to be a platform for local businesses to sell to consumers, including the payments component. Thus the site sees itself as a local marketplace and much broader than a traditional “classifieds” site.
Diggit isn’t the only new endeavor to take a cue from Pinterest and its richly visual presentation. But Diggit is offering a smart combination of features and functionality — including payments — that could make the site a model for a new generation of “classifieds” offerings.