Facebook has just started implementing a feature that lets people pay $2 to promote their status updates above everyone else’s in the news feed. What this effectively does… is monetize popularity.
From now on, you’ll start seeing a “Promote” option appear next to the “like” and “share” buttons below your status. Once you click on that option, you can pay to have your update promoted via PayPal or credit card.
So the big question is: Would you really pay $2 to promote your Facebook status?
To urge users to promote, the social platform shows you how many people your status update has reached and what percentage of your audience this number represents. So if viewership figures on an important message are looking a little skimpy, you may just be tempted to repost and have your message highlighted, with the hope of getting more exposure.
Only new status updates can be promoted this way — unfortunately, you can’t go back to an old post and pay to promote it.
Other users will see the word “Promoted” under the post, so they know that you chose that option, and after you’ve promoted a post, Facebook will tell you how many fans saw it.
For some brands, promoted posts may be the perfect tool to increase visibility, since only a small percentage of fans usually see posts naturally. On the other side of the coin, you might also risk annoying those fans by (arguably) spamming their newsfeed — so in this case, responsible marketers should promote with moderation. (Note: You have to be using Facebook as a Fan Page in order to see this.)
What would your reaction be if a friend paid to promote his or her own Facebook status update? Would that be a going overboard, or would there be instances where that would be a reasonable option? Would you read promoted statuses from this publication, or from the brands, organizations and publications you normally follow?