Build a feature for lending (goods) on Facebook
0 votes
in Product Design by (15 points) | 847 views

5 Answers

+2 votes


I dont think facebook has any revneue/commission/brokerage targets associated with current proposition.

Hence likely objective would be

  • Increasing platform engagement and feature engagement to connect people better
  • Leveraging platforms active user count to solve new need

Since FB is looking for renting goods using its platform then we need to first categorize them: 

  • Goods
    • Movable
      • Vehicle
      • Camera
      • Sports Gears
      • Home Repair Equipments
    • Immovable/Heavy
      • Furniture
      • Heavy Electronics

We need to figure out which customer personas will use this feature

We can categorise user in 4 personas

  1. Young Suzi
    • Young and short on money hence inclined to renting
    • on demand attitude with purchases
    • short term usage and frequently move
    • Likely types of Goods rented
      • Vehicles
      • Electronics
      • Sports
      • Furniture
  2. Nester Bob
    • Middle Aged and well settled with family
    • No impulse decisions, mostly planned purchases and rental
    • Need to repair/maintain home 
    • Expensive things are generally rented if the usage is limited or one time 
    • Likely Goods that can be rented
      • Home Hardware
  3. Patient Chad
    • Injuries due to which short term support system is needed such as Stick/Grip/Wheel Chair etc
  4. Tourist Frank
    • Short Term Traveller
    • Go around city to experience things
    • Likely items that can be rented
      • Camer
      • Vehicle

Lets evaluate tradeoff of each persona and decide a persona to focus on for the feature

PersonaMarket Size+ve-veShould we design feature for this persona?
Young SuziBigNew earners and need things without long term committments
Can pay more rent than others
Nester BobBigWill seek for a good deal even on rent
Probably go for HW rental as professional servies are expensive
will always seek good deal and only rent if goods cannot be obtained easilyNo
Patient ChadVery Small-Many NGO and Hospital provide these facilities for free No
Tourist FrankSmall to Mediumvery short term rental with very good rent amountEstabilished Vehicle Rental Market.
Difficult to recover damages from traveller


Who are the people that rent out their stuff

  1. Ordinary people like you and me
    • wont pay to list product
  2. Dealers/Pawn Shop owners etc. 
    • Can pay to list products
    • Can be charged for listing new item (eg. 5 listing are free and each incremental one is chargable) 
    • Can pay for ads/impressions to market it digitally and to perform remarkting/retargeting

User Journey: 

  • Person who Rents goods
    1. Go to landing page
    2. Searh product by setting city and radius
    3. Get list of products available based on
      • Product Specifications
      • Location and Logistics
      • Rent and Deposit
      • Contact Details
      • Renting period
    4. shortlist products and contact perons renting it out
    5. Plan physical visit (Optional and upto users wish)
    6. Decide
    7. Rent
    8. Return
  • Person who lists goods to rent out
    1. Go to landing page
    2. Click on add new rental
    3. Enter Details
      • Product Specifications
      • Locations and Logistics
      • Rent/Deposit details
      • Contact Details
      • Rent Period
    4. Get leads info and converse to them once they initiate conversations
    5. Shortlist (based on rating given to leads by FB based on historical rental behavior)
    6. Rent to someone
    7. Get product back after rental period

How to expect good behaviour from both parties

  1. Introduce star rating for person who rents the product so that his track records will act like a credit history/score
  2. Introduce rating for dealer/person who is listing product based on quaity of goods and overall experience




by (66 points)
Nicely done. Though you missed couple of important considerations. What is FB unqiue differentiation to be successful in market and have a moat to protect. Also what are tradeoffs risk associated with this product feature.
+1 vote

Before going further i want to understand the purpose of this features and its goals.

  • What is this feature ?

  • Who is this for ?

  • Why do they use it ?

Now Assuming that -

  • The purpose of the feature for FB is to increase engagement (GOAL), it wants to facilitate lending between people, basically to promote the benefits of shared economy 

  • This feature helps people to share their owned goods and services with other people, may be to make some cash or to help others with 

  • This feature is for two type of people 

    • Lender - people who own certain goods that is not been used by them currently, they want to lend it to others to make help them or make some cash 

    • Borrower - People who want to borrow goods from lender, may be in exchange for some money

  • People will use this feature for 

    • Lenders 

      • Want to help other people, might also need to make some cash out of it 

      • Have unused owned goods, that is not used by them, that could be used by someone else 

      • Might want to get rid of some of the belonging as they consume space at their place

    • Borrower

      • In need of some item, which they want to use but dont want to purchase it 

      • Might be willing to pay some money for its use

Base on above understanding, lets check the challenges faced by the both lenders and borrowers

Lenders Challenges

  1. What goods can be lend to others ?

  2. Finding out whom to lend ?

  3.  At what price and for how much time to lend ?

  4. How to come in consonance with the borrower for the price, time, and mode of delivery?

  5. How to actually exhange the good ?

  6. How to make sure that lender would return will return the good ?”

  7. What if the leder wont return the goods ?

  8. What if Lender returned the goods late ?

  9. How to facilitate the return of the good ?

Borrowers challenges 

  1. To figure out what goods are available for borrowing ? 

  2. Who is the owner of the good ?

  3. At what price and for how much duration is the good available ?

  4. What are the terms and condition of borrowing ?\

  5. How actual exchange of good will happen ?

  6. How to return the good upon use ?

Based on the needs of both borrowers and lenders, the most important problem to solve seems to be who can lend whom ?

The reason for choosing above is simple, that all the other steps, what price to be paid, how to exchange goods, how to agree upon term and conditions, how to return goods etc depends on who is lending to whom, because these aspects would matter differently based on who is lending to whom i.e if a person is lending to his friend or if a person is lending to others (not known person), for eg

  • If a person is lending a book to his friend who stays in some different city too, person will make an effort to make sure that logistics are sorted 

Another reason for choosing friends to lend is that we want to make sure that people keep using this lending feature, people have reservation when lending to others, they are more likely to lend to their friends hence other bottlenecks like price determination, returns etc can be sorted much easily among friends as compared to when people are lending to others

Once we have decided, that users will have the option to lend to others, next thing is what could be lend ? As they are lending to their friends only, they can lend any of their owned assets eg physical goods like car, books, phones and digital services like netflix, or prime subscription.

As we have decided that user can lend any good to their friends, now lets brainstorm how can we do that 

  • Market Place for listing from Lenders and Borrowers (Lending market Place) 

    • The Lending market place would have 2 sections

      • “Available for lending” Lenders can list thier products on Lending Market Place page

      • “In Need of” section would have all the listing of the borrowers need

    • Borrowers and lenders can can search their needs and reachout to each other via fb messenger and sort out the losistics 

  • Lenders and Borrowers broadcast their needs to all their friends

    • Friends will get back if the they can fulfill the needs 

Based on above two soltuions 

  • I would implement first solution

    • Less annoying to people, only people who are looking to lend or borrow would be engaded.

by (25 points)
0 votes
What are the current problems with this today?

I should know what i want is available for rent.

I need to know that the condition of the good is acceptable to me for renting

It needs to be closer to my preferred location/home/ office for pick up and returns.

I need to know if it was used and for how long -depends on the item i want to lend, may not necessarily apply to books.

Metrics to measure success: No of people using the feature ./ No of people interested in Lending groups

There are different types of people  who could benefit from this -

1. students 2. moms with young kids 3. bachelors moving into a new place  4. people with specific interests ( like I'm a photographer and I want to try a different camera before i buy)

Whats the goal? Lets assume the goal is to increase customer enagegement on the platform.

For the purpose of this exercise, I 'm going to focus on the "moms with young kids ' use case.

Children as they grow through each phase will need differnt things anf outgrow them quickly.

So "Moms with young kids  age 9 months - 4 years' . will have a need to buy (a) story books (b) toys (c) birthday decorations etc.

For this , I'm going to build a feature that allows moms to

1) list the goods that they dont need anymore. 2) List a small description and condition of the good. 3) Lending rate ( a factor of number of days and price/day) (so other moms can decide if this makes sense to them - buy vs lend decision) 4) location for pick up 5)ability to reserve online and pay in person

Some solutions:

1. Create a lending libary platform that captures  the picture, condition, location and item type(books/toys/birthday decor), house with pets (yes/no), price for rent, no. of days available for .  Allow users to search for items they would like to rent  by location  and also allow them to subscribe to the lending library if item is unavailable and be notified when it is.

Provide them with the ability to pay online using credit card OR reserve online and pay in person.

2.Use ML to determine user location and user group activity to recommend lending groups to follow. (this is probably already being done in FB, but would be an extension of the same idea.

You're missing a bunch of steps. Have you looked at the Inteview guide for Product Design?

0 votes


C: Clarify the Scenario


What are the goals of this feature?


Objective: Build a stronger sense of community, create a new value proposition on facebook.


Key Results: Usage of the new feature, Activation, Engagement, Retention.




I: Identify the customers




Large Businesses (Lowe’s, Home Depot)




R: Report the needs of the customers


Individuals’ motivation to lend goods: $


Individuals’ demotivation to lend goods: damage, usage, liability, lost items, theft




Business’ motivation to lend goods: $ and brand awareness, customer acquisition


Business’ demotivation to lend goods: damage, usage, liability, lost items, theft




C: Cut through prioritization


Awareness: 5


Acquisition: 4


Activation: 4


Engagement: 3


Monetization: 2


Retention: 1


Referral: 6




Retention (1)


Retention is the top most important aspect for this feature’s success. Mainly because the biggest de-motivator for lending objects is the possibility of loss, theft, damage of the said item. Especially if it is lending across people where an individuals do not have personal connections with. Having a contingency for both the lender and the lendee would ensure a safe and trusted exchange to both parties.






The lendee wants to borrow something for a short while at a significantly lower cost for something. It may be that they do not have the financial leeway to purchase the item outright, or they need it for a single or non-frequent use that doesn’t warrant an outright purchase. There are two promises that should be kept to the lendee. The borrowed time, borrowed cost, and the state of the borrowed item.




The lent item should not be available to another customer or the user until the timeline expires.


The cost of the lending should be a static cost that is agreed on from the beginning.


The full state of the borrowed item should be inspected and approved before the time begins.






The lender needs to be kept these promises: They will receive the lent item before or at the expiration time. The condition of the object will be kept as it was initially given. Any loss/ theft/ stolen items will be reimbursed without any issues.




1.       The Lendee will pay a late penalty if the item is not returned on time


2.       The Lendee will be liable for the full cost of the item if it is damaged/lost/or stolen


3.       The Lendee should not be able to pull out from a purchase by having a hold placed on their financial account.




Facebook should also have guidelines to remind the users that irreplaceable items/sentimental items should not be let out to people, and that full respect of another person’s belongings should be adhered to. In order to remove human subjectivity of the process, Facebook could have a imagine pic/recognition system to compare and match the item’s condition before lending and after lending to make the judgement of its use.




In order to ensure that the finance is secured for both parties, (no bounced checks, or ignoring the invoice), there should be a hold placed on the lendee’s account for the item that is automatically returned unless a damage claim is generated.




(2) Monetization systems can work the following ways


Individuals – free


Businesses – premium


Or individuals – free until a certain threshold of lending fee, which is then charged a premium


Business – set premium for a bigger threshold, and past that a lower premium


Or individuals and businesses would pay for premium features on their posting (like more photos).


Among these I would choose (2) for a greater diversification of revenue streams




Engagement (3)


Engagement can happen through comment/review/shares/chats/discussions.


A users’ main purpose of this page is to either get something rented out ASAP or rent something ASAP


Lendee would look for: Search -> Find Item-> Look at Lender Review -> Look at Post- > See Availability->Request borrowing-->Contact (messenger/email/phone)


And Lender would look for Receive Request, Receive info about lender + review, approve request, contact


Review/shares/chats/discussions would be an important aspect of the exchange as it informs the users to make the safest decision on whether to lend or borrow to an unknown individual.




Awareness/Acquisition/Activation (4)


Assistance with price points by market




Reminder to return or receive


Set platform to lend and borrow


Geographical Locale, price, time, mode of delivery






Evaluate the tradeoffs:


# of market reach ßà reducing risk and liability through people filtration




It is a big barrier to entry as a lendee if direct connection to my bank account and liabilities are placed on me. However, it is also a big barrier of entry for lenders if they are not guaranteed a proper usage and return of their lent items. The protocols listed above are basic steps that are taken for borrowing anything through a business, and the stringency between individuals should be as meticulous as it is for businesses. Removing subjectivity as much as possible from the feature itself and relying on a consistent ML based before/after use matching system would ensure more impartiality in the communication between both. Although these criterias will reduce the market reach, it will help garner a healthy lending/lender community and establish a sense of trust.




Summarize the Results:


For this feature, majority of the priority should focus on Retention and Monetization. Once the retention and monetization system has stabilized and built a sense of trust, awareness and acquisition should follow without too many barrier motivated by the needs of users in the community. My next phase would actually be to focus on engagement to ensure that proper communication is happening between the lenders and lendees to ensure that people don’t feel as if the feature is a dead zone.






Metrics of Success:


Objective: Increase engagement within Facebook and create a value-adding feature to the platform.




Average count of repeat lenders in a month


Average count of repeat lendees in a month


Average # of claims for damages/lost/theift in a month


Average # of claims for item not matching description in a month






Average distribution of business-affiliated lending vs individual-affiliated lending in a month


Average clickthrough of ads in the platform in a month






Average time between lender and lendee conversations in a month


Average time between lender and lendee engagement to object unavailability in a week


Average time to first response in a month


Average # of posts added in a month


Average # of posts deleted in a month






# of new posts added in a day


# of first time lendees in a day


# of first time lenders in a day


# of users who visited the page in a day


by (41 points)
0 votes
1. How does the "lending" feature align with the Facebook core mission?

Facebook's core mission is connecting people and building stronger communities. With that mission in mind, lending is an action that is deep in our society right from we are kids (borrowing books, land-mower...). The feature will help in the improvement of core Facebook metrics - DAU, MAU

2. Identify the needs of the users (understand motivations, what constraints)


Motivations: 1. Instead of purchasing a product for a one-time use I will borrow from my friends (financial motivation to save money) 2. I have multiple sets of friends and I communicate with them through multiple channels (Whatsapp, iMessage, FB messenger...) (personal motivation to save time by communicating on a single channel) 3. Build stronger meaningful relationships with my friends by helping each other (personal motivation to connect with friends on a personal level as people just don't lend their personal belongings to anybody)


Motivations: 1. Build stronger meaningful relationships with my friends by helping each other (personal motivation to connect with friends on a personal level as people just don't lend their personal belongings to anybody)  2. Charge a small fee for lending (financial motivation to make money) 3. Other friends in my network should admire generosity (social motivation to feel good)

Prioritization:   I will start with lending within a user's network instead of everyone. Lending has always been done within some's familiar network (friends, family, neighbors). It doesn't mean that people will be averse lending to unfamiliar people but first, the users need to build trust with the lending platform.

With the above use case in mind, the scope of the feature gets limited to only lending with a user's network


1. Use feed approach. Borrowers will post on their feed and lenders will respond.

2. Lender's list all goods they want to list and borrower can browse through all lender's in the network to discover the items

With the first solution, there isn't much work to be done in terms of development. But, it can get spammy as some users come to see pics of vacations or discover news/brands

With the second solution, it gives more power to the borrower who they can reach out if multiple lenders are available based on distance, friendship closeness etc.,
by (34 points)
Your name to display (optional):
Privacy: Your email address will only be used for sending these notifications.
To avoid this verification in future, please log in or register.
Your name to display (optional):
Privacy: Your email address will only be used for sending these notifications.
To avoid this verification in future, please log in or register.