Type of site
Kijiji (// kee-JEE-jee; Swahili pronunciation: [kiˈʄiʄi], village) is an online classified advertising service that operates as a centralized network of online communities, organized by city and urban region, for posting local advertisements. It is a fully owned subsidiary of eBay launched in February 2005. Kijiji websites are available for more than 100 cities in Canada and Italy. Kijiji was made available to selected cities in the United States on June 29, 2007, but was changed to eBay Classifieds in 2010.
Kijiji offers similar services and is seen as a competitor to Craigslist, with the biggest differences being that Kijiji has an extensive pets section, as well as a more modern interface.
Kijiji is the most popular online classifieds service in Canada. It is one of the top fifteen websites in Canada, and draws three times the amount of traffic compared with Craigslist in that country. The New York Times referred to Kijiji's Canadian site as representing "one of the few online brands that fizzled in the United States but found success elsewhere."
Kijiji was launched as "a start-up within eBay created by a small team of entrepreneurial employees", according to eBay's March 2005 press release announcing the new service. Kijiji was launched in February 2005 in Quebec City and Montreal, and expanded across the rest of Canada in November 2005.
In May 2005 eBay acquired the British-based online classifieds service Gumtree, which operates in cities in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Poland, Hong Kong, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand; as well as the Spanish company LoQUo. One month later it acquired OpusForum.org, a website offering online classifieds in Germany. In July 2006, Klaus Gapp, the founder of OpusForum, noted that after its acquisition it had "merged with its new Kijiji classifieds business in the German speaking markets of Austria, Germany and Switzerland."
In February 2010, Kijiji withdrew its Personals section in the United States and Canada. In March 2010, eBay unveiled a new classifieds site, called eBay Classifieds, to replace Kijiji in the United States.
In June 2016, Kijiji introduced Admarkt, branded as Kijiji For Business. During this time, Kijiji put restrictions on the number of free ads users can have in certain categories. This was intended to push heavy users of the site to sign up for Admarkt.
In January 2017, Kijiji introduced eBay ads that appear in search results, which are identified by an eBay logo.
In July 2017, Kijiji made it mandatory to register with the site to post ads. Previously, registration had been optional.
In December 2017, Kijiji introduced “My Messages”, a messaging system which allows users to communicate with each other directly on the site.
In October 2018, Kijiji unveiled an updated logo, replacing the one that had been in use since the site started in 2005.
In July 2019, Kijiji announced the closure of the Tickets category, citing a shift from paper to digital tickets and the resulting problems with making sure the codes are authentic and functioning as the reason. Users were encouraged to buy and sell tickets on Kijiji’s partner StubHub, which is also owned by eBay. Kijiji disabled the option to post or repost ads in the Tickets category on July 29. By September 29, 2019, all Ticket ads expired and the category was closed.
In November 2019, Kijiji introduced the ability to leave user reviews.
Legal conflict with Craigslist
Kijiji's owner (eBay) was also a minority shareholder in Craigslist. In April 2008, eBay launched a lawsuit against Craigslist claiming that their executives were attempting to weaken eBay's investment, while in May of the same year, Craigslist filed a counter suit claiming Kijiji had stolen trade secrets and that eBay used misleading tactics to promote the service. To end the lawsuit, eBay agreed to sell back its 28.4% ownership stake in Craigslist in 2015.
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