Facebook Lets U.S. Users Pay to Promote PostsBy: Josh Wolford - October 3, 2012
Apparently, we’re moving closer to a world where individuals can pay to make sure their friends see their witty status update or cute engagement photo. Today Facebook announced that they are expanding their Promoted Post for People test to the U.S.
As long as you live in the U.S. and have less than 5,000 friends, you should see a “promote” option appear next to the “like,” “comment” and “share” buttons on your posts. Clicking “promote” will take users to a payment option where they can enter a credit card or use PayPal.
“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. 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,” says Facebook in a blog post.
Once you pay to promote a post, it will appear in your friends’ news feeds as “Sponsored,” just like a business page’s post does. As the promoter, if you hover over the sponsored link you can see feedback from Facebook. It will show you a comparison between how many regular views the post has received versus the amount of paid views. It will also say something to the effect of “Promoted Posts stay higher in news feed to help people notice them. so far, your post has had X times as many views because you promoted it.”
As for the price, Facebook doesn’t specify. In house, we’ve seen a promotion go for $7.00. In previous tests, we’ve seen the price at $6.30, and even much higher (like $16.00). Since this is still technically a test, Facebook will probably mess around with the cost in order to find the sweet spot that both generates revenue and attracts the most play from users.
We first saw the Promoted Posts for People feature pop up as a test for New Zealand users back in May. Back then, it was called “Highlight.” Just a couple of weeks after that, Facebook launched Promoted Posts for Pages. Then, a few weeks ago, we heard that Facebook was in the process of expanding the test.
And now, the U.S. is the next big testing block. It will be interesting to see how many users will pay to promote their own statuses, photos, events, etc. There are definitely situations where it would pay to promote a post. For instance, “Hey, my band is playing Friday night,” or “Yay, he just proposed!”
But the fact that an actual individual’s post could be marked as “sponsored” displays a little bit of narcissism to other users. And $7 is pretty steep, no matter how much of a reach advantage the promotion gives you.
Would you pay to promote a post?