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Tradyo Aims To Further Re-Define Online and Mobile Classifieds Beyond Kijiji and Craigslist

Toronto-based startup Tradyo, the winner of The Next 36 entrepreneurial initiative last summer, is trying to redefine local classifieds beyond the already transformative nature of Kijiji and Craigslist by stripping away the bulk of the classified industry from newspaper publications.

They have released a new version of the app since originally releasing in September. After talking to customers, Tradyo implemented their feedback to make the social marketplace better. They have also launched a website for those that don’t have an iPhone that will be available for use in the next month.

Tradyo’s first new feature is safety—in the sense that it will verify the classified user identities via Twitter or Facebook. Second, it allows for transparent communication by providing in-app messaging ability that will allow both the buyer and seller to see if the other has read the message much like Blackberry Messenger. Finally, Tradyo says you can set up an alert if there isn’t what you’re looking for in the marketplace and the app will notify you when what you’re looking for becomes suddenly available.

A mobile classified marketplace will not only allow for an even more local experience beyond just the city in which one resides in, but by neighbourhood. Users can start posting items by just posting the picture they take of the product with their smartphones.

Many group deal sites are on a city-by-city basis but WagJag has been very successful with neighbourhood targeting in Toronto. We’ll see if that same strategy pays off dividends for Tradyo which is also releasing the service in San Francisco. That’s ironically where Craigslist launched all those years ago.

Newspaper execs doubted years ago that Craigslist could ever cut into their decades-old classified revenue, but they were soon proven wrong as it helped contribute to the downfall of newspaper revenue across the world.

Just as Craigslist and Kijiji changed the classified industry forever in the digital space, Tradyo cofounder Eran Henig says, “We really believe the activity on classifieds are going to rise dramatically in the near future, because smartphones have made the process easier than ever before. Tradyo was built to redefine the way we as a society interact and consume within communities, and we have now seen the beginning of this revolution.”

Perhaps Tradyo can help offer a silver lining now in mobile to struggling newspaper companies if they were ever to offer an API in the future to help newspapers reclaim the classifieds section and attract users to their content for more reasons once more. Tradyo would stand to benefit from reaching an even larger audience with their platform.

I’m just brainstorming, but at the nextMedia conference in December, it was reported by KPMG that just 2% of Canadians were willing to pay for news. It just seems to me that the paywall, which many newspaper companies are moving toward, cannot be the sole answer in conjunction with advertising.

I believe newspapers, no matter what the statistics say from the latest Pew report—where they are losing seven dollars in print for every dollar gained in digital—can creatively make up that gap through a variety of partnerships like one with Tradyo in the near future should they experience lots of continued success.

Techvibes’ Associate Editor Knowlton Thomas tends to agree, too, by saying in the latter article last month, “One area where newspapers have a shot at redemption is mobile. Currently, it accounts for only 1% of their digital revenue. But smartphones and tablets are still new technology and the market is expanding rapidly. Media can now take the mistakes they learned from the web and apply new tactics to capitalizing on the mobile revolution.”