Facebook tests ‘pay to promote post feature as skepticism about its IPO grows. World’s No.1 social networking site Facebook is testing a feature to highlight a particular post on payment of a small fee. The feature will let users show up their posts at the top of the updates from their friends for stipulated payments. The firm is now testing the feature among its users in New Zealand. According to a user of the service in the country, Facebook has offered to increase visibility of his post thanks to a payment.
As per the reports of BBC and Washington Post, the Palo Alto-based firm has also confirmed the news. “We’re constantly testing new features across the site. This particular test is simply to gauge people’s interest in this method of sharing with their friends,” Facebook’s spokesperson has told the Washington Post.
Needless to mention, it is an odd step from Facebook. The company has been making most of its revenues from advertisers, who often post their ads on its page to easily grab the attention of users. Facebook has recently announced another surprising move to bring cash into its pocket. Apart from collecting money from some in-app payments, the company announced its plan to add paid apps to the platform.
Is Facebook bereft of cash?
Facebook is the world’s No. 1 social media site with more than 800 million users. We will be awful to think that the company is without enough cash to drive its business. That is why it is bringing up such features that will add more cash into its account. According to Ian Maude, an analyst at Enders Analysis says Facebook will be coming with more options to bring more money since recent slowdown in revenue and imminent stock market flotation.
“In the last few years their overall revenue has grown much more quickly than their audience,” admits Maude. However, during last six months, the company has failed to keep up the momentum. An intense slowdown has been there for a while. It might have prompted Facebook to introduce such methods for making more money, he thinks. He also criticized Facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg’s financial policy as he was making money to run the company and not running the company to make money.
Response from users
The news has kicked off hot debates on social media sites and forums. Many Facebook users are infuriated over the company’s decision to accumulate money from anything. A user named Sweh on Digital Spy says that Facebook has enough money from advertising and he questions the company’s new feature in a severe language. “I am pretty sure Facebook makes enough money from advertising to sustain itself without having to do all that nonsense. That has nothing to do with the casual user.”
Won’t this be a market tool?
Yes, thinking from a positive side, Facebook might have introduced the feature as a marketing tool for SEOs, online vendors, political campaigners and others. The controversial ‘pay to promote post’ will let them to post their important updates with a prominence over the posts from regular and non-paying users. As a result, they can mange to get more visitors, possibly their potential customers, voters and others, whom the communicator might want to address with the particular posts.
At the same time, regular users can continue with their normal accounts. In other words, the ‘pay to promote post’ feature may no longer be a mandatory item. Common users can continue to use Facebook the way they have been using it up to now. But the posts by paid users will be shown with more importance. It might be the thing at all. Nevertheless, it is a big concern that posts from regular users won’t get as much attention as the posts from the consumers of the new feature.
Anyway, Facebook is just testing the ‘pay to promote post’ feature. We are not yet sure whether the company will launch the facility across the world. Whatever it may be, it might be a great method for the site to earn more revenue. For paid customers, their posts will get more attention as well.