UPDATED: See below. Yep, definitely a hoax but it’s always fun to unpick these things…
Okay, this could well be hoax but it would be remiss of us to ignore it.
A blogger has posted a story about how he is involved in testing for Facebook Pro, a new paid version of the social networking service. This would, it appears, be aimed at competing with LinkedIn and would feature:
* Ability to store Work History
* Ability to write Recommendations on profiles
* Tighter control over Profile Security
* Additional Contact Method fields
* Certification badges
* Digital Business cards
This account would supposedly cost $29.95 for 6 months.
A number of *possible* accounts have been uncovered including this one which appear to reference the new service.
Why we think it may well be a hoax:
1. The supposedly ‘uncovered’ profiles of people who have these acounts were all posted to Hacker News by people with brand new user accounts on the forum within a few minutes of each other.
2. The ‘upgrade to Facebook Pro’ images look overly processed – not very professional.
3. This doesn’t feel like the way Facebook would do this kind of testing. The ‘Announce and then roll out to a limited number of users’ model is Facebook’s usual approach, not holding secret beta testing.
UPDATE: Someone who appears to be Facebook staff has commented on this story on Hacker News that: “This is a scam. I’ve just sent it to our internal review committee, but I’m guessing they’re already aware of it and taking steps to shut it down.”
UPDATE 2: Yep, as we thought it was all an orchestrated joke.You have to get up pretty early in the morning to fool The Next Web! Still, it’s always fun to unpick these things…