Facebook tests selling goods on its site

Facebook users could soon sell goods by writing a simple post on a group, the social networking site confirmed.

A new "sell something" button has shown up for some users next to the "write post" feature in groups on the Facebook site. People can describe the item, its price, post a picture of what they are selling as well as specify pick-up or delivery details.

The item is then posted and users can comment as they would for a usual Facebook post. There are no details yet on how users will pay and transact the deal.

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"We are testing a new feature within Facebook Groups to help people better organize posts about items they'd like to sell to other people on Facebook. This is a small test limited to select Facebook Groups that have active selling communities today," a Facebook spokesperson said by email.

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Facebook Thursday posted a help page for their new function. On it, the company states that "both buyers and sellers are responsible for things sold", and that Facebook doesn't own anything that is being sold.

Facebook groups can be made by anyone and can be public or private, with users able to join or be invited to become a member.

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This is not the Menlo Park, CA-based social site's first foray into the booming online payment space. Earlier this year, a software hack by a Stanford University student revealed a feature in its Messenger app which will allow friends to send money to each other.

Social media rival Twitter is also looking at the mobile commerce (m-commerce) space. The micro-blogging site has been trialing a "buy now" button that would allow users to buy products directly from a tweet.

'Perfect sense'

Analysts said the move makes sense for Facebook as an increasing number of consumers use the app on smartphones. Facebook saw a 39 percent year-on-year boom in monthly active users in the third quarter to an average of 703 million, with mobile advertising representing two thirds of total advertising revenue.

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With 195 million billion transactions expected to take place annually by 2019, up from 72 billion this year, according to mobile research firm Juniper Research, analysts said Facebook's move is logical.

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"It makes perfect sense for Facebook to leverage its appeal and scale within the mobile space and move into mobile commerce which is an exceptionally hot area," Windsor Holden, head of forecasting and consultancy at Juniper Research, told CNBC by phone.

"More and more ecommerce is becoming m-commerce. Because Facebook and social media engages with people 24/7, using the mobile channel to become a store front makes perfect sense."