Has Craigslist’s Growth Flatlined?

Wow, check out Craigslist’s traffic over the past year– it certainly looks like the web’s most-visited marketplace for golf clubs and hookers has reached the pinnacle of traffic in 2010 and started to move sideways.  After years of growth and decimation domination of the local classifieds market (and some might argue, stifling innovation because of their unwillingness to monetize), this chart suggests it might, just might be the case that Craigslist is no longer unstoppable.

If Craigslist’s monopoly on classified listings truly has peaked, then competitors like Oodle and Vast (not to mention of panoply of vertically-oriented listings services, aggregators, posting systems, and white label platforms) have much to gain.  And perhaps no longer will investors be so scared to invest in verticals like online employment, automotive, and real estate, for fear of Craig smashing their business model.

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  1. B
    Posted December 3, 2010 at 9:35 PM | Permalink

    They’re moving domains around. ie toronto.craigslist.org redirects to toronto.craigslist.ca
    See here: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1968020

  2. Posted December 3, 2010 at 9:56 PM | Permalink

    I really appreciate Craigslist and will continue to be loyal to them for not-monetizing. They give me hope that others will be successful.

    JP, Founder
    (also not monetized)

  3. Marcus
    Posted December 3, 2010 at 10:30 PM | Permalink

    Jim – Craigslist has definitely monetized: “Analysts and commentators have reported varying figures for its annual revenue, ranging from $10 million in 2004, $20 million in 2005, and $25 million in 2006 to possibly $150 million in 2007.” (Wikipedia)

  4. Posted December 4, 2010 at 12:04 AM | Permalink

    Or maybe ~50m views is about *it* for classifieds in the US. The population of the country is about 307m; that’s roughly 0.16 daily Craigslist views/person. How’s that jibe with your Craigslist browsing habits?

  5. jeremy
    Posted December 4, 2010 at 12:28 AM | Permalink

    @Marcus – I think the non-monetization criticism is fair in the sense they only monetize <5% of what they could.

    I think the best part of Craiglist peaking is that it’s now a known, quantifiable, contained effect on markets. Before when it was growing, it seemed like nobody had the courage to place a bet anywhere near their market. Now, for example, it will be clearer what online real estate plays may or may not work.

  6. luna
    Posted December 4, 2010 at 1:05 PM | Permalink

    Seriously, I can not find a single hooker on Oodle or Vast.

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