No surprise here. Facebook’s pushing through a few changes to your profile and user experience, this time with Promoted Posts, a paid service for brands to shove their ads in people’s faces, to everyone. So if you think your Facebook friends are ignoring you, you can pay Facebook so your posts will be more visible to your friends.
“Every day, news feed delivers your posts to your friends. Sometimes a particular friend might not notice your post, especially if a lot of their friends have been posting recently and your story isn’t near the top of their feed,” said Facebook software engineer Abhishek Doshi.
“When you promote a post – whether it’s wedding photos, a garage sale, or big news – you bump it higher in news feed so your friends and subscribers are more likely to notice it.”
Yes, that’s right, there’s a new way for people to start annoying each other on Facebook. The paid service was first tested in New Zealand back in May, and now it is being tested in the US.
This feature isn’t for everyone, though. You must have fewer than 5,000 friends and subscribers, and the current rate for paid posts is $7 a pop. The promoted posts are still in beta so that price might probably go higher to weed out those that may abuse this already questionable system.
The purpose of the paid posts is to ensure that important posts stay on top of News Feeds. So you can pay Facebook to announce your wedding, your baby’s Christening, a garage sale or whatever you want, just as long as you have the money to pay for it.
I thought Facebook was FREE?
But this raises questions around Facebook’s social graph-driven algorithms and their monetization schemes. If you have to pay to get noticed, then there must be something wrong with the system.
What happened to “Facebook will always be a FREE service,” when they keep coming up with paid features? Does this mean that there’s a possibility that they’d soon charge for you to be able to maintain your account all together?
Facebook has a lot on its plate right now, determining the best methods for monetizing 1 billion monthly users while also balancing privacy concerns, and forging into the mobile market. And it seems Facebook is extending a form of advertising to end users, a feature typically reserved for advertisers. It’s a new way to think about social networking, and a potential new revenue stream for Facebook, which still faces low stock prices after its IPO earlier this year.
Facebook already has a couple of ways to pick your pocket, through gifting and gaming currency. An increase in direct monetization methods would be a marked change for the standards of social networks, and could ultimately become a positive for Facebook’s platform. It depends largely on how consumers will view the new system, and how Facebook plans to curb spammers.