Yesterday I had a discussion with my partner on how Facebook is turning itself as the darling for investors and in that process it is killing itself. She believes that the base of Facebook is quite shaky as it is built on fundamentals that have been stolen from others. She further added that Facebook fails to replicate real life social behavior and the latest test being conducted by Facebook makes her point stronger. According to TechCrunch, Facebook is providing an option for users to pay to “Highlight” their status update in order to reach out to more number of friends. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it?
How does it work?
“Highlight” is similar to the creepy “Sponsored Posts” by brands that are cluttering the feed these days. If you plan to use “Highlight” then you will have to shell out few dollars to have one of your status updates appear to more friends. Facebook presently is testing this in two versions: 1) Paid Version where you can use a Paypal or a credit card to pay and 2) Free version. Facebook is running the free version simultaneously to observe the reaction of users. The image beneath gives a resemblance of how a “Highlight” paid one would look like.
Who can benefit?
Since “Highlight” has been only designed for Facebook users and not for brands, it kills the excitement. But then “Highlight” could be a magic wand for influential people who use their Facebook personal profile as a business account. For e.g. a business coach or a business speaker would use Highlight to share a status update that has the details of his new course. Besides this, I have also come across a lot of SME’s Facebook personal profile which is not allowed by Facebook and they can benefit by this latest feature. So if you want to show your status updates to more than 12% of your Facebook friends, appear to more subscribers, etc. then “Highlight” is for you.
Will it work?
But then the bigger question today is what is Facebook ending up as. I think it is becoming a network cluttered with ads and features like this will turn off more users. I joined Facebook for having fun on my personal profile and I really don’t care how many people are reading my updates or checking out my pictures. And if I really want to reach to a certain percentage of friends then I can simply tag them. Why am I going to pay for it? Rest if I find someone doing more of this then I will definitely un-friend her as my timeline is already being spammed by trending articles, idiotic apps and brand messages.
I am not sure if you would be interested in paying for such a service but I am not. Some time back Tumblr tested this same model and more above I doubt a service like this will work for a personal network. Wouldn’t it be great if Facebook releases a feature that allows me to target a specific set of fans via my status update on my brand page? That makes much more sense! For example, lets say I own a local restaurant and I want to target people from my locality for a Saturday noon buffet. I think people would be ready to pay for this kind of service. Similar to what LinkedIn is testing with a set of companies.
Do let me know your reactions about this feature from Facebook and if you plan to pay then why would you do so?