There is a certain magic with coining a far-out name that really sticks, like “Google” or “Yahoo.” Apparently, the new folks running eBay Classifieds, however, don’t think that “Kijiji” has made the grade. Kijiji, which is Swahili for “village,” is eBay’s homegrown version of Craigslist.
Key categories include motors, pets, goods, services, housing, jobs and personals. Unlike Craigslist, which is embroiled in a lawsuit with eBay, the site enables users to personalize the site (“My Kijiji”) and add alerts, photos, events and search.
A report in RentBits (via TechCrunch) today notes that eBay has sent letters to registered Kijiji users in San Antonio and Pittsburgh, testing a simpler name: “eBay Classifieds.” The name is certainly easier to grasp, although it may mean the end of the specialized classified sites that eBay has acquired or developed over the past several years.
“Please rest assured that nothing will change other than the name and the domain!” notes eBay’s letter. “Everything else stays the same. That means your ad will stay posted on the site, but instead of finding it at Kijiji San Antonio you will now find it at eBay Classifieds San Antonio.”
Kijiji, which launched in February 2005, is now serving 23.2 million users around the world, although just 3.7 million of them are in the U.S. Last April — almost a year ago — eBay claimed that it had a “leading position” in 12 countries, including Germany, the U.K., the Netherlands and Canada. It has launched in some of these markets from scratch. In other markets, such as Germany, it has purchased an existing online classified provider (OpusForum.org) and rebranded it.