Facebook to charge for user promotions

2012-10-04 10:40
This image shows the new Facebook feature that lets users pay to promote their posts to friends, just as advertisers do. (Facebook, AP)

This image shows the new Facebook feature that lets users pay to promote their posts to friends, just as advertisers do. (Facebook, AP)

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New York - Facebook is rolling out a feature in the US that lets users pay to promote their posts to friends, just as advertisers do.

Facebook has been testing the service in New Zealand, where it tries out a lot of new features, and has gradually introduced it in more than 20 other countries.

Facebook says promoting a post will bump it higher in your friends' news feeds.

"As part of a test starting today, people in the US can promote personal posts to their friends on Facebook," the company said in a statement.

"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," it said.

"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."

Revenue-generating schemes

The option will be made available to users with fewer than 5 000 friends and subscribers, Facebook said.

Facebook did not specify the price of the new service, but TechCrunch.com said it would start at $7 per post, making it a potentially major source of profit for the social network, which counts 955 million members.

A dismal stock market debut in May raised questions about Facebook's profitability, and since then the company has said it is considering new revenue-generating schemes, including charging for some services.

Last month the company revamped its "Offers" service to require payments, starting at $5 per ad, for the deals offered through Facebook - making companies pay for what had been free advertising until now.

Facebook has also added a feature that lets users send real-life cupcakes, coffee, stuffed animals or other gifts to friends in the social network.

The "Gifts" programme is being rolled out gradually, starting in the US, and Facebook stands to get a fee for brokering purchases.

The company has long declared on its front page that it's "free and always will be". And it still is - unless you want more friends to see what you have to say.
New York - Facebook is rolling out a feature in the US that lets users pay to promote their posts to friends, just as advertisers do.

Facebook has been testing the service in New Zealand, where it tries out a lot of new features, and has gradually introduced it in more than 20 other countries.

Facebook says promoting a post will bump it higher in your friends' news feeds.

The company has long declared on its front page that it's "free and always will be". And it still is - unless you want more friends to see what you have to say.

- AP

Read more on:    facebook  |  social networks  |  e-commerce
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