The daily newspaper industry, already in shambles, received more bad news recently with ebay’s U.S. launch of Kijiji. Despite the challenging name, the site is basically an exact replica of Craigslist which ebay invested $25 million in a few years ago (so much for amicable strategic corporate investors). With free classified listings for real estate, cars, jobs, services, and other things, the site will undoubtedly further erode classified revenue for daily newspapers. This year alone, daily newspapers have seen classified revenue from autos fall 20%, and both real estate and employment classified revenue fall 14%. And while Kijiji might accelerate those declines in autos, real estate, and garage sales, my guess is that it will have little impact on job classifieds.
The jobs posted on Craigslist, the same type of jobs that will appear on Kijiji, are not typically advertised in daily newspapers anyway. Like Craigslist, Kijiji will likely cater to part-time, temp, and freelance-type listings, with a healthy dose of multi-level marketing listings, erotic services, work-at-home scams, and other classified pollution. The site might gain traction and provide a valuable service to local communities, but Kijiji will not impact to any meaningful extent the employment classified business for daily newspapers, other free weeekly jobs papers, or legitimate online jobs sites.