Craigslist is a decentralized, classified advertisements website that has sections dedicated to jobs, housing, for sale items, services, community service, gigs, résumés, and discussion forums.
- History: Craigslist began in 1995 as an email distribution list by Craig Newmark in San Francisco, California. It was used primarily to share local event information. By 1996, it transformed into a web-based service, and its expansion led to serving multiple cities. As of my last update in 2021, Craigslist operates in hundreds of cities across dozens of countries.
- Layout & Design: One notable feature of Craigslist is its simple, text-based layout. Despite the rise of more visually-oriented platforms, Craigslist has largely retained its minimalist design, which has its own appeal for many users.
- Categories: There are various categories for posting, such as jobs, housing (which includes rentals, sales, and roomshares), services (from legal help to beauty services), items for sale, community events, and more.
- Personals: Craigslist used to have a "personals" section that was popular for dating and other personal ads. However, it was taken down in 2018 due to concerns related to the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) passed by the U.S. Congress.
- Safety Concerns: Over the years, there have been reports of scams and other criminal activities linked to transactions initiated on Craigslist. As a result, many police departments have set up "safe exchange zones" at their stations where people can meet to complete their transactions.
- Pricing: Posting on Craigslist is free for most categories, but there are fees for certain services, especially for businesses. For example, job postings in major cities and brokered apartment rentals in NYC carry a fee.