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Emma offers safe and social marketplace

Win a $700 gift card. Visit Moms Love Emma Sweepstakes to find out more!

Last week we wrote about a brand new service called Emma, which uses an individual’s Facebook profile and network to create a personalized online marketplace. For women who are concerned about divulging too much personal information on big anonymous web sites like Craigslist and eBay, the Emma web site and app offers a safer and more intimate alternative.

That’s not to say that Emma doesn’t have ambitions to become a major online player. With over 300 potential trading classifications, including categories as diverse as fortune telling and hot air balloon rides, Emma is seeking to host every conceivable transaction.

But Emma isn’t just about buying and selling. It also uses the Facebook platform to offer a unique array of social interactions. Maybe you are looking for a new roommate; or someone who shares your passion for the arts; or just someone to have lunch with on short notice. Emma helps you reach out to your friends and friends of friends to make that special connection.

“On Emma, Facebook friends feel secure doing things together, whether it’s dating, selling stuff, offering services, or finding a roommate or rideshare,” said Michael J. Saylor, Chairman and CEO of MicroStrategy Incorporated, the company behind Emma. “Emma lets you search for people to interact with using Facebook profile information, so you feel more comfortable transacting with your larger Facebook community of friends.”

A scan of recent listings on Emma revealed everything from cool job offers to luxury vacation rentals. One of the great things about Emma is you can customize your search down to the last detail. As well as searching by category, you can search by region or town, by price (fixed, bid, swap, free), or by groups of friends. This last option can be particularly important. For example, if you are only comfortable dealing with family and close friends, then you can set up an appropriate Facebook friend list and Emma will only feature listings from the people you have named.

The same privacy options exist if you want to create a listing. As well as specifying the target audience for your listing, you can also decide how much of your profile you want to reveal. Want to stay anonymous until you can find out more about the bidder? That’s easy – with Emma, you can always reveal more later.

Some of the quotes from early users highlight both the safety and social aspects of Emma:

“I think it’s a great concept! I was worried at first about safety, but now I see that you can create your own circle and post offers back and forth, which I love!”

“It is so much more personal than Craigslist. I really feel I can “meet” people before entering into any kind of transaction with them.”

The marketplace is currently available through the Emma web site or as an app for the iPhone, iPad or Android devices. The mobile apps have the added benefit of notifying users when new listings become available.

To celebrate the launch of its new marketplace, Emma is offering Moms the chance to win a $700 gift card. Just post a listing and simply include “Moms Love Emma” in the description area and you will be included in a February drawing. Visit Moms Love Emma Sweepstakes to find out more!

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