If anyone hasn’t kept up with Facebook recently then you may not know about pay-to-promote. This is a new idea created by Facebook to get people or like pages to pay money to “promote” their posts to reach more people by stacking it across the top of friends news feeds. In an understandable business sense, if a page has just launched a new product this may be a good idea, but why would a regular person feel the need to promote one of their pictures or status’s? Currently the feature is still undergoing testing in a few regions and is only available to people with fewer than 5,000 friends or subscribers. Comments being made showed that a price per highlighted item at most would be £1.25 while others prices could be 25p or 50p with the payments being made through credit card or paypal.
Although this feature is new to Facebook I have seen other sites start using similar promotions. Tumblr has a similar promote feature where you can highlight or pin a post. Pinning a post which is the more expensive of the options means that a user can promote a post for $5(US) and it will pin the post at the top of followers dashboards for 24 hours or until they unpin the post themselves. The less expensive option is to highlight a post which will put a sticky with any words your choosing next to your post to make it stand out more, this is $2 (US).
Like pages on Facebook have encountered similar issues, I remember a few bands that i like on Facebook posting about how they may now have to pay to get their own status’s to everyone that follows their news feeds and asked all fans to go to their page and click “show in news feed” with a tab from the like button. This is then down to the common user of Facebook to do, so it may not have gotten across from bands to all of their fans, which then to me seems like the common user is somewhat getting ripped off.
A lot of this all has stemmed from Facebook’s now slowing lack of growth. Ian Maude, internet analyst at Enders Analysis said, ”In the last few years their overall revenue has grown much more quickly than their audience, however, that rapid growth had slowed in the last six months and had perhaps prompted it to experiment.” Either way in 2011 alone over $3.7billion was made in revenue, this is an average of $3 per user over the year, so it still seriously baffles me as to why the company is still feeling the need to make more money.