Two years ago, seeing the success of Craigslist, Microsoft created Windows Live Expo. Hopes were, it was going to be a "Craigslist Killer." It didn’t work out that way, however, and MS announced that the site wil be discontinued at the end of July.
According to a message on its homepage, users can no longer create a new account, post or extend listings, or upgrade listings to "premium." Although Microsoft hasn’t commented on the reasoning behind Live Expo’s departure, there’s speculation that because the service wasn’t as well advertised as it could have been, it never took off in the way the company would have liked.
Online classifieds continue to be dominated by Craigslist, and none of the major players have been able to mount a good product to compete successfully. Google has GoogleBase, which hasn’t seemed to take off with the real estate crowd, though here in the Pacific Northwest, Windermere and Coldwell Banker Bain has supplied them with a feed. Ebay has Kijiji. There’s Backpage, owned by Village Voice Media. Oodle, Vast, LiveDeal, now Overstock and literally hundreds more. None seem to have gained the traction that Craigslist has. Even with the looming threat of elimination of HTML, Craigslist will probably continue to reign supreme.
As an agent, I know that I have very limited patience with manually entering my listings to all of the sites out there. I’d much rather put it on one or two aggregators and call it a day, as I don’t have an assistant to post my listings on every single classified Web site. With the MLS, you get your listings posted automatically on every other real estate Web site and my brokerage, Coldwell Banker, is now supplying a feed to Zillow, GoogleBase and Trulia. If I make a Postlets ad, then it gets on Oodle and Lycos and Hot Pads. Manually entering each of my listings to each of these sites is too labor intensive. Though it’s noted that each ad to Craigslist must be manually loaded, if it didn’t work, we wouldn’t do it.
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