Facebook “Pay to Promote” Feature Reaches U.S.

Facebook just announced that Promoted Posts are now being tested with Facebook users who live in the United States. It has been made available to people who currently use Facebook and who have fewer than 5,000 friends and subscribers.

I’ve been seeing this story all over the internet today, but it actually goes back a bit farther. In May of 2012, I wrote a blog on Geek News Central that talked about when Facebook launched a test of the Promoted Posts feature with Facebook users from New Zealand. Some interesting changes seem to have been made!

There were more options offered in the test of Promoted Posts in New Zealand than what has been made available here in the United States. In May, Facebook users from New Zealand could have Facebook promote one of their posts for free, or for as much as $2.00. At the time, it appeared that the company was attempting to learn exactly how much money people would be willing to pay to have one of their posts Promoted. In May, the Promoted Posts were going to appear in a bright yellow, to make them more eye-catching than the rest of a person’s Facebook news feed.

Since then, Facebook has gradually rolled out the test of Promoted Posts to more than 20 countries. It just arrived for Facebook users who live in the United States. Now, when you Promote one of your posts, you cause it to be bumped up higher in the news feed of your Facebook friends. There is no mention of it becoming a bright yellow, though.

There is a feature that allows you to see how your Promoted Post is doing. You can see how many regular views it got, and compare that to how many “paid views” it got. According to The Verge it will cost about $7.00 for one Promoted Post. It would be nice to know what that $7.00 did for you, if anything.

It appears that Facebook is trying to make money without having to rely entirely on ads. In addition to the Promoted Posts, Facebook is also going to be launching a Facebook Gift Shop that will enable you to send real world gifts to the home or office of your Facebook friends.

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