- Craigslist is one of the top 20 websites in the US, and generates over $1 billion in revenue.
- The site’s been around since 1999, and now serves 700 cities in 70 countries.
- Here are 12 surprising facts about one of the most well-known sites on the internet.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Craigslist is not just one of the largest websites on the internet.
It also dates back to the web’s earliest days, having gotten its start in 1999, when founder Craig Newmark turned his email newsletter featuring local events in the San Francisco Bay Area into a website.
Craigslist now serves 700 cities spread across 70 countries — all with a site that eschews modern design in favor of a mostly text-based layout that is largely unchanged since the early 2000s.
Here are 12 facts that you might not know about Craigslist, the classified ad marketplace with an archaic site design.
Craigslist’s annual revenue is greater than the Netherlands’ GDP
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
Craigslist is privately held by just two people — founder Craig Newmark and CEO Jim Buckmaster — and the company rarely makes any public comment about its profits.
But according to CNBC, analysts estimate that the classified ad site may have taken in more than $1 billion in 2018, thanks in large part to a continued strong demand for classified ads and some small price hikes on paid ads.
That means a business with just 50 employees and virtually no corporate infrastructure took in more than the entire GDP of countries like Switzerland, Turkey, and the Netherlands.
Thanks to Craigslist, newspaper classified sales plummeted 77% in just 10 years
Glenn Asakawa/The Denver Post via Getty Images
It’s no surprise that Craigslist played a hand in the decline of traditional newspapers. But it’s sobering just how dramatic that turned out to be.
Classified ad revenue for daily papers peaked in 2000, just shy of $20 billion. By 2012, classified advertising was just $4.6 billion — a drop of 77%. Through that entire period, most Craigslist classified ads were free, although the site started charging for job ads in 2004, but offset that with a free "gigs" section.
Craigslist gets more visitors than Netflix
Despite having essentially no advertising, promotion, or marketing, Craigslist manages to consistently rank in the top 20 websites in the US. According to SimilarWeb, it’s about the 15th most popular site, beating out Netflix, Zillow, Walmart, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and CNN. It also ranks around No. 118 worldwide.
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