Great, Soon People Will Be Paying To Promote Annoying Posts On Facebook

There are already enough posts we don’t need to see on Facebook “Going to the bank and then the gym and wow isn’t this day great oh by the way I’m breathing and I have 23 pairs of chromosomes lol,” and now the social network is going to go ahead and let people pay to promote or highlight what they’re yakking about. Get ready for an onslaught of too much information and an army of baby updates, everyone.

BBC News says Facebook has started testing a system that will let users pay to make sure all their friends, family and coworkers see whatever very important thing is they have to say. Gotta brag about those Bejeweled Blitz scores, y’all.

The tests are reportedly being carried out among users in New Zealand, to see if there would be enough interest among users to go forward with the idea.

This news is coming out of a New Zealand news magazine called Stuff, that says a user discovered the new system in a magical sounding placed called Whangarei, and Facebook confirmed the news to the BBC.

“We’re constantly testing new features across the site,” said the spokesperson. “This particular test is simply to gauge people’s interest in this method of sharing with their friends.”

There would be a range of charges assessed to get your post more visible, with the highest being around $2. Payments could be made with a credit card or PayPal. Some methods would trigger a charge to highlight a post, while others being tested would allow for a post to be highlighted for free.

Get ready, everyone. I’ve got some cat pictures I know you’ve all been just dying to see.

Facebook tests ‘pay to promote post’ tool [BBC News]

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  1. roshambo says:

    This sounds like a great system. It’s a perfect way to find out which friends you should delete on facebook.

    • tbax929 says:

      This would be my reaction.

      Thankfully, my friends are all cheapskates. I can’t see any of them paying to post, even if it’s just a minimal fee.

    • PsychoRaven says:

      Yup. This is going to be gangbusters for helping people trim their friends list. Seeing as how so many add just anyone to their list I see it as a good thing. Maybe they’ll start using the site for what it was designed for then which was to keep in touch with family and friends.

    • MMD says:

      It depends…will these posts be marked as paid promotions? Or will they just sort of stubbornly show up in the first few posts even when they’re several hours old? Because the latter happens all the time lately anyway, through no fault or intention of the poster. I assumed that was glitchiness due to the transitioning to Timeline that’s going on…but maybe it’s a sneaky test?

  2. consumed says:

    I miss the days before my mother was on Facebook.

    Actually, when they started allowing non-.EDU addresses to join, that’s when things started going downhill. It kinda caught up with Myspace at that point.

    • bhr says:

      OH, god forbid the poors got a chance to use your precious social network. Or is it the olds? The foreigns?

      FB is fantastic because it lets anyone sign up, I know 60+ folks who have used it to reconnect to long lost friends and family.

      • Hi_Hello says:

        it’s a shift for what it was created for to what it became when the .edu was removed.

        it was suppose to be a networking site so people with similar background and education to hook up with potential employer.

        It’s the same thing like networking night when young professional goes out to have drinks.

        So the being poor had nothing to do with it if they went to the community college. And foreign can still access if they came from a foreign school.

        either way, I think facebook is whack.

        • TheWillow says:

          are you insane? It was never about prospective employers, it was about stalking your crushes (I was in school when fbook started)

        • jimbo831 says:

          I think you are confusing Facebook for Linkedin. Facebook was never ever about getting a job. It was a way for students to stay in touch with each other while in college. Back when it expanded to all EDU addresses, I remember it being used mostly for picking up girls and keeping track of your high school friends that went to different colleges.

  3. Daggertrout says:

    Comments sections should do this. Imagine all the bidding wars between people who want that “FIRST!!!!1″ comment.

    You’d make bank.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      You know, of all the crap-ass comments on Consumerist, I am greatful that particular meme has disappeared at least here.

    • Clyde Barrow says:

      “We’re constantly testing new features across the site,” said the spokesperson. “This particular test is simply to gauge people’s interest in this method of sharing with their friends.”
      ___________

      Apparently what they did NOT test is gauging people’s interest in whether people enjoyed having to read what others shared with them. Big difference. So shoving useless comments down someone’s throat is seen as a good thing? FB is worthless.

  4. Blueskylaw says:

    Great, now people will pay Facebook of all things to cram more sh*t down my throat, as if they weren’t bad enough already.

    This reminds me of Jessica Simpsons Tweet: Kraft mac and cheese with Lawry’s seasoning salt is the breakfast for pregnant champions.

    This is why I don’t give a sh*t about what a celebrity has to say because they are paid to say it. You also know they didn’t tweet it because Jessica doesn’t know how to spell “is”.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      She has a hard time spelling her own name on Twitter because you aren’t allowed to dot your ‘i’s with hearts or use any glitter.

  5. CrazyEyed says:

    Trying to make every stock share worth as much as possible for the IPO. I see this failing miserably as companies will be quick to jump on, and people will be quick to dislike pages they once liked.

  6. scoosdad says:

    Nothing against their fine country, but why would Facebook choose New Zealand to test this out? Did they think maybe the rest of the world would never hear about it if they decided not to do it?

    “Shhh, all you Facebook users in New Zealand (all three of you)– don’t tell anyone about this, OK?”

    Sounds like a subplot for an episode of Flight of the Conchords: entire country of New Zealand is sworn to secrecy, but Murray accidentally spills the beans.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Easy to turn on/off feature access by country, and NZ isn’t a large country so it’s a good test location.

      This is not unusual at all.

    • longfeltwant says:

      I work in the industry and I have heard many times examples of Facebook rolling out features for relatively small groups of users. That detail of this story didn’t surprise me at all, it’s exactly what they always do. [And they have a fricking amazing technology stack to help them do it.]

  7. dolemite says:

    Umm…so the USER pays to advertise for a business?

    At first glance, I thought businesses were going to pay users for promoting them to friends, which would make more sense.

    • OSAM says:

      No no, users pay to advertise their own posts.

      Joe posts a status about pooping violently.
      Joe pays facebook $0.49 to promote post.
      Joe’s post about pooping violently is locked to the top of his friend’s news feed for the day.
      Joe is stoned to death.

  8. wadexyz says:

    I’ve noticed stuff like “Dave is reading about xyz”, or “Joan really enjoys Oreos”. I don’t think this will endear ppl to the platform.

    • OSAM says:

      That’s a business partnership between FB and the host site that the articles or products are from. Not the same situation.

  9. longfeltwant says:

    “make sure all their friends, family and coworkers see whatever very important thing is they have to say”

    What is the implementation of this? How could this possibly work? I, for instance, have a Facebook account but never look at walls or posts. Private messages to me come to me via email, and that’s about all I ever see about Facebook. If Facebook started spamming my email too much, I would turn off those notifications. So what does it mean to “make sure” that I see a message?

  10. Back to waiting, but I did get a cute dragon ear cuff says:

    Kinda torn here.

    1) Since we are now paying for something, we would be the customer. Would that mean they would listen to us instead of us being the product?

    2) My guess is that this would be for one off posts and not a subscription.

    Would I pay $1 to make sure all my facebook “friends” knew that my daughters were in the middle school production of Mulan Jr? Probably not. Would I pay a dollar to ensure that all of them saw the latest TSA outrage or CISPA article posted on consumerist.com, possibly. If I was a hard core supporter of a political candidate and they were holding a rally, probably.

    Now, if I could pay $1 to block posts from “friends” (see third option above), that is another story. Now this opens to a bidding war. I’ll pay $1 to make sure you see this. I’ll pay $1.25 to make sure I don’t see it. Well. I’ll pay $1.50 to make sure you do…

    • longfeltwant says:

      “Would that mean they would listen to us instead of us being the product?”

      LOL. No.

  11. sadie kate says:

    Listen, I am very proud of my current 933,000 score in Bejeweled Blitz, thank you very much.

    • Pigfish99 the randomly insane says:

      hey, I once managed 800K. I’d say bejeweled is one of the more trusted apps on Facebook.

    • selianth says:

      I hit 993,850 this week. You better believe I’m posting that.

  12. RandomHookup says:

    I just figured that God was using Facebook as his new advertising channel.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      HA HA HA HA good one. Yeah, I’ve noticed an alarming amount of God posts from people I friended whom I had no idea were even religious.

  13. spartan says:

    Hey Consumerist

    I will give you guys a dollar if you keep my comment on top.

  14. Nobby says:

    Another reason for me to break down and create a FB account.

  15. Dave B. says:

    No worse than paying a premium for cable/sat TV and having to sit through 3 magicjack commercials in a row, each one exactly the same but advertising a different reseller.

  16. Velifer says:

    More visible posts?

  17. mistyfire says:

    Dear Facebook, bad enough half the statuses disappear on the feed page, make it like it used to be.

    As for me, if I really want to know what a friend might have said that I missed, I just go to their wall. And if FB really wants people to use this new feature, they need to allow those that buy those Facebook credits gift cards (I got oodles during Christmas from a older relative who thought they were game cards) to redeem them for “highlights”. Credit card or Paypal?? Nope, not me.

  18. kataisa says:

    One more reason not to sign up for Facebook.

  19. xspook says:

    Sooo glad I bailed on FB.

  20. Lisse24 says:

    So….let me get this straight…
    I join Facebook so that in one easy site I can keep up to date on my friends and family and make sure that they know what’s up with me as well. I knew that when I made a ‘post’ it would be seen by those same friends and family.
    Last year, Facebook rolled out changes meaning the tendency for posts that I wanted to see, and my posts that I wanted others to see, to get lost in the crowd is greatly increased. I am no longer sure that I am seeing all of my friend’s updates or that they are seeing mine. I am also seeing more ‘useless’ updates (Johnny read this article! Mary scored 900 on insertgamehere!).
    Now, they want to charge me so that I have the same functionality that caused me to join in the first place? WTH?

  21. corridor7f says:

    For the average person, this is just a sad, annoying thing.

    If you’re a business, I can see this having a point (other than throwing a shitfit for attention.)

  22. farker22 says:

    i wonder if they will remove the “mark as spam” feature…

  23. ripoffnation says:

    Today the big corporation wants me to PAY TO PROMOTE my message.
    Nah, I’d rather wait for the day when corporations control/jam human audio wave spectrums, so then I get to PAY TO SPEAK.

  24. HogwartsProfessor says:

    No. Fucking. Way.

    This sounds like a slope toward charging overall. If they do that, I’m gone.

  25. technoreaper says:

    No.

  26. Posthaus says:

    ANNND this is why I run Social Fixer of Opera. Fuck you, Facebook.

  27. oldtaku says:

    I LOVE the idea of this.

    Trainwrecks are great fun if you’re smart enough to keep off the tracks.