These days, one of the first places many people look to find an apartment is the Web. But back when Craig Newmark decided in 1999 to create a website for free classified ads for the San Francisco Bay Area, the move was revolutionary.
Four years later, the phenomenon known as Craigslist would appear in nine other U.S. cities. Now, it is a staple in over 450 cities spread across 50 countries. Even though Craigslist is for-profit, the driving force behind the company is less the blind accumulation of wealth than to create a social community within a given city.
The site's revenue comes only from charging for paid job ads in several cities ($75 for one ad in San Francisco, $25 for New York, Los Angeles, San Diego, Boston, Seattle, Washington D.C., Chicago and Portland), bypassing other possible sources of ready revenue from charging for other ad categories.
Today, the site serves over 9 billion pageviews per month, and ranks ninth among the most-viewed websites in the United States. Each month, Craigslist boasts over 30 million new classified ads, making it the leader of both classified and jobs ads in the world.