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Facebook Charges to Highlight Posts

How much do you want your friends to know what’s going on with you? Will you pay to make sure they get the message?

Facebook is hoping that you will. The world’s biggest social network has rolled out a test program that gives your post a leg up on all of the other bits and pieces in the Facebook stream. Those in the test market are seeing “”Highlight an Important Post: Make Sure Your Friends See This” along with an authorization to charge $2 to PayPal or your major credit card.

Facebook probably knew that this would be a hot topic for discussion, up to and including ridicule; a headline in “The Week UK” called it “a feature more embarrassing than porn.” With all of the hustle and bustle of the IPO, the Facebook powers-that-be wisely decided to test this program in New Zealand. No offense to my New Zealand friends and readers, but that’s about as far “off the map” as anything in these globally connected times.

After all, it’s not enough anymore to be a person; the 21st Century individual must be a BRAND; and how best to promote your brand than to advertise? Facebook has provided a similar feature to advertisers, the “Reach Generator,” which helps Liked pages to get their posts more prominently featured in a subscriber’s stream. Fair enough, but the “Highlight” feature is a deliberate gaming of the organic social process by which active posts rise to the top. In other words, you’re buying buzz.

I’m sure that someone at Facebook is thinking, “hmm, if we can just get 5 million posts highlighted, we won’t be missing all of that sweet, sweet General Motors money.” And that’s what Highlight is all about; keeping the newfound investors from realizing that Facebook still has absolutely no clue how to make money. “Look at all these clever new ideas that we’re trying,” pleads Facebook. “See, even though the potential user base is saturated and Zuckerberg is on record saying that he’s clueless about how to do mobile, your money actually was well spent.”

That’s not a real quote, by the way. This is the real quote: “We’re constantly testing new features across Facebook,” said Facebook spokesperson Mia Garlick. “This particular test is simply to gauge people’s interest in this method of sharing among their friends.”

People are interested. Some people are interested in laughing at Facebook, and some are interested in leaving if Facebook gets worse (but what else is new?). Precious few are interested in paying, however, so what we’re interested in most is what unbelievable thing Facebook will test on us next.

Author Bio:- Stephanie Cable is from Salt Lake City and writes exclusively for CableTV.com. Her interests are watching TV (surprise) and browsing the internet.

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