Facebook tests 'pay to promote post' tool

 
Facebook logo spread across screens The 'promote a post' system has so far only been tested in New Zealand

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Facebook has started testing a system that lets users pay to highlight or promote posts.

By paying a small fee users can ensure that information they post on the social network is more visible to friends, family and colleagues.

The tests are being carried out among the social network's users in New Zealand.

Facebook said the goal was to see if users were interested in paying to flag up their information.

Money maker

The tests of the "pay to promote" system were discovered by a Facebook user in Whangarei, reported New Zealand's news magazine Stuff.

At first, said Stuff, the user thought the offer to pay to promote a post was a con trick.

A Facebook spokesperson confirmed to the BBC the offer was genuine.

"We're constantly testing new features across the site," said the spokesperson. "This particular test is simply to gauge people's interest in this method of sharing with their friends."

Different methods of highlighting posts were being tested, said the spokesperson. These would see a range of charges being levied to make posts more visible. Comments on the tests suggest the highest price being charged was £1.25 ($2) while others cost 25p or 50p.

Payments could be made via credit card or PayPal.

The spokesperson said some of the methods it was trying out would incur a charge but others would highlight a post for free. The spokesperson would not be drawn on when the test would end or if it would be tried in other territories.

"We're going to see a lot more ideas like this where they are testing out different ways to try to make money," said Ian Maude, internet analyst at Enders Analysis.

Both Facebook's imminent stock market flotation and a recent slowdown in revenue growth were helping to concentrate its attention on ways to make money, he said.

"In the last few years their overall revenue has grown much more quickly than their audience," he said. However, he said, that rapid growth had slowed in the last six months and had perhaps prompted it to experiment.

The flotation will add more pressure, said Mr Maude but he added that the way the stock would be split could lighten that burden a little as Mark Zuckerberg would be left 57% of the shares.

"He's always said he wants to make money to run the company not run the company to make money," said Mr Maude.

 

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  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 197.

    I shut down my facebook account 6 months ago because I got bored of it, and then irritated by it.

    But hey, facebook is a business afterall, and it's their prerogative to find new ways to make money - interesting that users always report feeling 'betrayed' by changes to the medium - forgetting that the idea they ever owned any of it's content was an illusion.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 196.

    I realise that I may be in a minority, but I really cannot see the point of Facebook. It seems designed to appeal to those with a desire for fame and self publicity, who would otherwise be unable to achieve it. My advice to them would be, get a life!

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 195.

    ★★★ ---- ᵍᵒˡᵈ ˢᵗᵃʳ ᶠᵉᵃᵗᵘʳᵉᵈ ᵖᵒˢᵗ ---- ★★★

    Did that payment come through okay?

    ★★★ ---- ᵍᵒˡᵈ ˢᵗᵃʳ ᶠᵉᵃᵗᵘʳᵉᵈ ᵖᵒˢᵗ ---- ★★★

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 194.

    what a joke that this even makes the news.the world seems to genuinely think that "social networking" is an interesting/worthwhile past time. If i want to contact a friend...i meet for a drink every few months and to be honest couldn't give a chuff what they had for breakfast. Make people have to pay for all of this rubbish then finally people might come back to the real world and focus on reality

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 193.

    I'm using google plus a lot these days. I prefer it. If facebook start charging users, they will see them move to a free option en masse.
    Don't they earn enough as it is? Greed will be their undoing.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 192.

    I'm furious about this. So furious that I didn't actually read the article, just the headline, and now I will post in a manner that implies;

    a) facebook is now charging people to post
    b) facebook is allowing businesses to post on users feeds for money

    It's terrible how sites like facebook are eroding their user's intelligence span....not me, I never use it and I'm alright

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 191.

    Typical money grab..

    Total greed..

    How much are you worth again Facebook?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 190.

    "187.echelon_watches"

    Thank you for that educated, well reasoned response. I can see you are obviously an intellectual giant. Well done.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 189.

    This was a predictable move once facebook went on the stockmarket Their customers become the 2nd priority whilst their shareholders become the first priority. Surely you all saw this coming?

    As a Customer you have of course a choice. You can either choose to continue your patronage or you can choose to "try" and delete your account.
    This is just the first of many measures that will earn them cash

  • rate this
    -5

    Comment number 188.

    34.Dryad13
    Why would you want FB to fail? Unless you want it to it does not affect your life in any way.
    Or is it just Jealousy?..hmm...yeah.

    No wonder entrepeneurs don't stay in the UK. Anyone with an idea that actually sells and makes money we hate. It's really sad that some people are like that, especially BBC forum posters.

  • Comment number 187.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 186.

    I've got nearly 5000 'friends' on FaceBook, but only in any contact that I can see with a few hundred. My Dog also has a few hundred friends there and in contact with about 20. I don't think it's worth paying very much to advertise there within the confines of your friends list when you can do it for free.

  • rate this
    -9

    Comment number 185.

    This is wrong it is a very bad idea and it is stupid i will not be using facebook any longer if we have to pay to post this is ridiculous everyone will stop using it because of the stupid idea and on top of that we will move back to bebo its not even worth paying on a chat site when you can have social talks and buisness in person facebook is not an aspiration its a cyber bullying social network

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 184.

    Shouldn't really affect me. I have my profile locked down so that only my "Friends" can see it. None of this "Friends of Friends" rubbish. And when I say "Friends" they are people that I know personally.

    If however this means that my wall is going to invaded by posts from people that I don’t know who pay then I’ll have to decide if I want to continue using Facebook.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 183.

    Facebook use is directly proportional to an individuals vanity and shallowness.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 182.

    The concern with this is that my news feed will end up full of advertising. My friends will surely not pay to ensure I see what they had for breakfast. But this is another step into targetted advertising. It's bad enough trawling for the interesting stuff through the app rubbish as it is, let alone adverts in my news feed too. I'd simply delete my account if this happened.

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 181.

    HYS is so funny!

    Full of people bitching about 1 forum on another forum!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 180.

    Watch this being the downturn of FB. Google+ anyone?

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 179.

    Looks like Facebook is running out of other ways to generate more revenue so has decided to make money by making us paying to post information on Facebook.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 178.

    All this talk of charging on Facebook is to please the new investors they hope to get on the IPO.. just another company who are going to squeeze the users for every penny to line the shareholders pockets. It'll last a very short while before people leave FB... Tip: if you're into the markets.. wait until about a month or so after the IPO then short Facebook shares as they tank...easy money imo..

 

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