October 4, 2012
Facebook To Test “Promoted Posts” Feature With US Users
redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online
Facebook announced on Wednesday that some U.S. members would be able to have their posts or photos highlighted on their friends' news feeds — for a fee.
The social network said it would begin offering the “Promoted Posts” feature on a test basis to U.S. members with fewer than 5000 friends and subscribers.
“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,” Facebook said in an announcement posted Wednesday on its official blog.
"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.”
Facebook first announced the “Promoted Posts” feature in May, when it was rolled out as a test service in New Zealand. In the months that followed, it gradually introduced the feature in 20 additional countries, said Facebook software engineer Abhishek Doshi.
The current test price for U.S. members is $7, but Facebook said it is considering a variety of prices.
“Promoted Posts” is Facebook´s latest effort to expand revenue sources beyond advertisers, which accounted for 84 percent of the company´s second quarter revenue.
The social network has seen its revenue drop dramatically in recent months, and analysts and investors believe it must find new ways to make money.
Last week, Facebook introduced a feature dubbed “Facebook Gifts,” which allows U.S. members to purchase and send real gifts to their friends.
But the company´s primary social networking service, which boasts nearly 1 billion users, would remain free, said Facebook spokesman Jonathan Thaw.
"Facebook has offered paid products - virtual gifts, virtual goods in games, sponsored stories, ads - for years, and still remains free. This doesn't change that," he said.
Facebook´s new paid postings will be visible on the desktop and mobile versions of the social network, and will be positioned towards the top of friends´ newsfeeds for a limited period of time.
Facebook's newsfeed typically displays content by originality, timeliness and relevance.
The company noted that businesses are already able to promote posts from their business Facebook Pages, a separate product the company launched in May.
Shares of Facebook´s stock fell 2 percent on Wednesday, closing at $21.83. The company made its public market debut in May at $38 per share.
On Thursday morning, Mark Zuckerberg posted on his own Facebook page: “This morning, there are more than one billion people using Facebook actively each month. If you're reading this: thank you for giving me and my little team the honor of serving you. Helping a billion people connect is amazing, humbling and by far the thing I am most proud of in my life. I am committed to working every day to make Facebook better for you, and hopefully together one day we will be able to connect the rest of the world too.”