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Oct 10, 2012
01:04 PM

Want More Friends to See Your Facebook Posts? It'll Cost You

Website's new feature allows regular users to promote their posts by bumping up the post’s rank in the news feed

Want More Friends to See Your Facebook Posts? It'll Cost You

Facebook.com

A lot of users may have been wondering what that new “promote” option is that has appeared under their Facebook posts. The website recently rolled out a new feature that allows regular users to promote their posts by bumping up the post’s rank in the news feed.

Promoting makes the post appear higher in the feed and it goes out to a larger portion of a user’s friends. Unpromoted posts are typically only seen by 12-16 percent of a user’s friends. But the promotion is far from free.

Promoting posts costs $6.30 per post. I can’t imagine there’s anything on Facebook I would want to pay $7 for more of my friends to see, but Tech Crunch suggests it could help Facebook “nearly double its revenue per user." Businesses already have the ability to promote posts.

The company is already raking in boatloads of cash from users. Last week, Facebook hit 2 billion users and the behemoth is reportedly making about $9.51 in advertising revenue per user in the U.S. and Canada. Europe was about half that much with $4.86 in ad revenue per user. Asia and the rest of the world follow that at $1.79 and $1.42 per user.

This is interesting news considering that just yesterday Facebook offered to pay a number of users $10 each to settle claims that the website illegally publicized user’s “likes” of sponsored stories without any compensation or a way to opt out of the service.

As part of a proposed $20 million settlement proposal, Facebook also would agree to give users more control over how their names and pictures are used.

The new “promoted posts” don’t violate the rights of a user who chooses to promote their post, but what about users whose timelines could become overtaken by promoted posts they don’t want to read?

Tech Crunch reports that Facebook first began testing the product, then called Highlight, in May in New Zealand. It’s still testing price points for the US so it could go up or down from the current price at any time.

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