Case Study: Craigslist

Founded in 1995 by Craig Newmark in San Francisco, craigslist is an unconventional, down-to-earth web site with a mission of providing a trustworthy, efficient, relatively non-commerical place for people to find all the basics in their local area.

The site offers local community classifieds and forums free to individuals. It handles more than 5 million classified ads and 1 million forums postings each month in 175 local craigslist sites throughout the US and 34 countries worldwide.

In August 2004, eBay acquired a 25 percent ownership stake in craigslist. [Source: craigslist, August 2005]

Things to read:

Questions to consider:

  • What factors contribute to the growth in popularity of craigslist?
  • How does criagslist differ from the eBay marketplace?
  • What is the business model for craigslist?
  • How can traditional newspaper classifieds complete with craigslist?
  • The design of craigslist has changed seemingly little in the last decade. What impact has this had on the overall usability and popularity of the site?

Intellectual Property

Selected trademarks: