Corkin is a new web service that combines classifieds listings with a set of social tools that the company says differentiates it from juggernauts such as Craigslist and eBay’s Kijiji. Like corkboards you’d find outside of local supermarkets, libraries and on college campuses, Corkin wants to be the website everyone uses to post free classified ads about anything.
Every aspect of Corkin has a social element to it; users can comment on listings, comment on photos, reply to comments, send direct messages, etc. and the company founders believe this makes them a better service than Craigslist, eBay / Kijiji and the countless other classifieds sites you can find on the net. The site sports the same spartan look Craigslist does (but including annoying in-your-face ads), and the founders of Corkin realize that they’re going to have to fight an uphill battle trying to beat them.
They’re going to take a crack at it by adding a couple of features they say users are currently missing on Craigslist, like search within a mile radius, upload as many features as they like, etc. and they’re also boasting about the fact that they’ll be able to counter spam more efficiently than Craigslist and yield more qualitative responses to ads for their registered members.
I’m not convinced that’s going to be enough of a reason for people to switch from the leading classifieds websites, who’ve been around for years and get visited by tens of millions of people every month, but can’t blame them for trying. You never know how much of an advantage the founders’ previous experience will be: Paul Kats and Keith Boster were original team members of MySpace, Keith being one of two individuals who wrote the first version of MySpace.com code and Paul having served as the startup’s first performance and scaling engineer.
Here’s an interview LuckyStartups did with Kats: