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Facebook Launches “Pay to Promote” Feature

Posted by JenThorpe at 1:12 AM on May 14, 2012

Facebook is testing out a new feature that will allow users to pay a certain amount of money in order to have Facebook highlight, or promote, a particular post that they have made. It is currently being offered only to Facebook users who live in New Zealand.

The purpose of this test is so that Facebook can discover if users are interested in spending money in order to have Facebook make their post more visible than usual to other Facebook users. Right now, an interested user who lives in New Zealand might be able to have Facebook highlight one of their posts through this feature for free, or, they might be charged as much as $2.00 for it.

It seems to me that Facebook is trying to see how much they can charge and still have the feature be attractive to their users. The featured posts will appear in yellow, a bright, eye-catching, color that will definitely stand out against the sea of other posts in your Facebook news feed.

Personally, I doubt I would be using this feature. I use my Facebook page to post links to my writing work that appears on various websites. The Facebook format makes it very easy for my friends and family to find it. I also post links to gaming related things that I find interesting because I have some Facebook friends who are also avid gamers. I see no good reason to pay to have these posts promoted for me.

I have concerns that many of the companies who currently have Facebook pages will jump on the chance to highlight their posts through the use of this proposed feature. For me, and I suspect for many other Facebook users, one of the most enjoyable things about Facebook is scrolling through the posts that my friends and family have made. If my Facebook news feed turns into little more than a series of yellow colored ads, I will stop reading it.

Of course, that is just my opinion. Perhaps people will see new feature as a good way to emphasize their fundraiser, show, or upcoming event. If the highlighted post that is asking you to spend money comes from your friend, or family, is it still an ad? I’m not entirely sure.

Image: Facebook Social Media by BigStock.