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So Facebook wants your money … again.

Facebook are all about the money :(I’ve been vocal over Twitter and Facebook, and on my business blog too about how Facebook has let us build up valuable communities for our businesses and networks, and when we were all benefiting from the rewards, boom, you have to start paying. I’m not going to go on about it again now, if you want to know where I stand, read my pal and pro-blogger Natalie Lue’s post – she has something to say about the crazy-making.

This post is to let you know they’re at it again. Now they’re getting personal. Or so it seems.

Back in May, TNW reported that Facebook was trialling a scheme to see whether people would pay to promote their personal facebook status updates. Yes. You read that correctly. Pay to promote your personal Facebook status updated to your friends. It’s worth a read.

I agree with Drew Olanoff. Facebook has opted for a income stream it really should have avoided. Why, well in Drew’s own words:

If you’re moving to New York and want to throw yourself a party, you could surely use Facebook to invite people. If someone were to ignore it, shouldn’t we take that as they simply don’t want to come or can’t come? I mean, you could *gasp* call your friends and let them know you’re moving too. By paying money to highlight a post about a party you’re throwing for yourself, what does that say about how we view friendships and how we make ourselves appear online? It’s sad.

It’s sad. Really sad.

TNW is now reporting that this trial is now being rolled out and it’s called Highlight. Users around the globe are now saying that they’re getting the option to promote an important post. It’s showing a number of currencies and a number of different payment options. Here’s a quick YouTube screen-cast:

Facebook has decided it’s going to charge you for going social. Of course, we could all switch to other social networks. After all Path, which the Cybher team have been using forever, is fabulous. But it’s no fun being on social sites if your friends aren’t on there too. With Facebook having  955 million users; more than 42 million pages and 9 million apps and the much more beautiful Path having only 3 million (source), we appear to be screwed.

Now don’t get me wrong. I understand that Facebook needs revenue streams. As Forbes reported:

As more people gravitate to smartphones and tablets, they’re increasingly forgoing the desktop to the access the Web. Between 2008 and 2011, the percentage of U.S. adults who accessed the Internet from PCs daily grew to 62% from 54%. In the same period, the percentage of daily mobile Internet users rocketed to 26% from 4%, according to Forrester Research.

This means that fewer people are seeing those Facebook ads then ever before. Facebook needs to make money. We get that. BUT by making us pay to promote our lives to our friends is pants. It really is sad.

I am not going to play the game. I am not paying. Would you?


Sian To is Cybher founder, social media consultant, blogger, mother, workaholic, geek. Passionate about promoting women in tech and best practice in social whilst soaking up as much useful information as she can in the process.

15 Comments Write a comment

  1. Great post Claire. I have to wonder if this action is playing right into the hands of the Google gods. Making brands pay is one thing. I get that and I said that would happen all along but Joe Public…… I didn’t see that one coming.
    Looks like we will all be going back to email as a way of contacting our pals or FaceTime or iMessage or Skype or Twitter or G+. Is this the turning point???


  2. Not a chance I would pay for status updates especially when even if I was that desperate they don’t actually extend your reach when used as a brand! I get they have to make money but why not change the code so ads show up on smartphones? Not ideal but better than paying for your friends to “hear” you


  3. I really don’t see how this could/would work. Surely the key demograph on facebook is teens/20s a lot of FT education…I mean how would they pay exactly????? They’d just all go off to another networking site and build that up instead (remember the mass exodus from friends reunited to facebook??)


  4. No way would I pay for this! I must admit that I loved using Path when it first came out it but I didn’t hang around because not enough of my friends had joined so it was a little lonely over there! Maybe it’s time to revisit my account and spread the word…..


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