It’s older than Twitter, Facebook and even Google, but Craigslist has only just made it’s own official iOS app. Released on Tuesday, the Craigslist app has already proved a hit, currently sitting at No. 6 in the App Store’s Shopping category.
It may not be the most cutting-edge entity in the online landscape, but Craigslist is still surprisingly popular.
The original website for classified ads is still doing its thing 20 years after it went online for the first time.
Observers have predicted Craigslist’s fall into obscurity for years now. But according to Forbes, it still gets some 55 million monthly visitors.
Given the simplicity of Craigslist’s business model, not to mention its website, it’s not surprising people have underestimated its staying power. The fact that it has only just released its first iOS app says it all.
Unfortunately for Android users, the app is only available in Beta form for now. But we’re used to having to wait for apps.
Craigslist on the App Store
In true Craigslist fashion, the Craigslist iOS app is about as basic as they come. There are no fancy menu transitions, effects or features – the website is strictly utilitarian in its design and functionality.
In this way it’s pretty much the same as Craigslist’s website, which even nowadays represents a throwback to the websites of the early internet era.
Craigslist’s app and website both allow users to narrow down their search in the simplest, most efficient way possible.
From the overarching ad categories, which include things like jobs, houses and services, further sub-categories are listed in alphabetical order.
Presumably Craigslist’s thinking is ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ – a concept which has worked remarkably well for it so far.
Although the new app is the first official Craigslist app, it’s not the first app made for browsing Craigslist.
For years, Craigslist users wanting to browse Craigslist via app have been able to do so using CPlus for Craigslist. This third-party app was even officially licensed by Craigslist, but it doesn’t have quite the same simple design philosophy as the real deal.
Craigslist’s business philosophy
Like all great tech company leaders, Craigslist’s founder Craig Newmark is an eccentric character.
Newmark has always described himself as lacking social, organizational and business skills, taking a background role at Craigslist early on in the company’s journey. But he has ensured the company has stayed true to some key principles.
For example, Newmark is a firm believer in Dunbar’s principle, which theorises that humans are incapable of maintaining stable personal relationships with more than 150 people.
Because of Newmark’s belief in this idea, Craigslist currently only employs around 50 staff at its head office, which is pretty remarkable for a company valued at over $3 billion.
This belief in simplicity and straightforwardness is clearly reflected in Craigslist’s website, and now its iOS app.
Newmark himself, although a billionaire thanks to his brilliant creation, is a renowned philanthropist, regularly donating to good causes and charitable organisations.