Back in May, Facebook started testing a new feature called “Highlight”, which lets you pay actual money to make sure that more of your friends see your status update, in New Zealand (Facebook’s favorite country for testing obscure new features since it’s small but still English-speaking). Today, users of the social network from around the world started reporting that they are seeing the feature. I confirmed with Facebook, and indeed the company has started a broader test for Highlight.
“We are expanding a test that started last May that enables people to pay to promote a status update so that more friends may see it in their news feed,” a Facebook spokesperson told The Next Web. “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.”
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Both reports come from Hacker News. As you can see above, the first one shows a price of $6.30 USD to “Promote an Important Post” while the leaked screenshot of four months ago showed $2.00 USD. The second one points to The Manufacturing Revolution, which has uploaded the following screencast on YouTube:
The video clearly shows a price of €3.09 EUR as well as all the various payment options: Visa, mobile phone, PayPal, Beanfun, MyCard, Alipay, Western Union, JoinCard, and so on. I think it’s safe to say that the feature is being tested in Europe and possibly also North America.
I have contacted Facebook for more information in regards to where exactly this feature is being offered and to how many users. I don’t expect much of an answer, but I will update you if I hear back.
I once called this feature Facebook’s worst idea yet. I stand by my assertion, but unfortunately it looks like the first test went well and Menlo Park is eager to push forward with the next one.
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