Facebook tests charging users money to “highlight” posts

facebook highlight post

Likely related to proving Facebook’s revenue potential prior to the IPO, the social network is testing out a new feature that charges users to highlight a recent post among their friends. Within the example pointed out by Stuff, the user could pay $1.80 to bring extra attention to a specific Facebook status update, photo or video. The user would pay by credit card or Paypal to complete the transaction, however there is no indication that the user will be able to see metrics like how many of their friends actually saw the post. According to Facebook, the company is testing a variety of price points including free, but the free sample may just be an attempt to attract more users into the program.

facebook dollarsResponding to Stuff’s inquiry about highlighted posts, Facebook Communications & Policy manager Mia Garlick stated “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.” Facebook will not be accepting Facebook credits for this test, ideally structured this way to prove revenue generation.

Rather than testing this feature in the United States, Facebook appears to have chosen New Zealand as a “test bed” according to the supplied picture to Stuff, but it’s possible that users in other countries will see the feature soon.

According to a Facebook-supplied statement to Techcrunch earlier this year, the amount of friends that actually sees one of your status updates is around 12 percent. If a user does decide to pay to highlight a post, the selected post would likely remain at the top of their friend’s Facebook feeds for a specific amount of time. It’s also possible that Facebook could set a specific limit on the number of friends that see it prior to expiration. While the post do have a more effective position within the feed, the post won’t contain any form of extra shading to help it stand out from the rest of the feed.

Product Review

Fitbit’s Inspire HR fitness tracker nails the basics and keeps the price low

Fitbit targets the new user with the Inspire HR, a low-cost, lightweight fitness tracker that covers all the basics. I put the device through its paces. It not only lived up to our expectations for an entry-level tracker, but sometimes…
Computing

Worried about your online privacy? We tested the best VPN services

Browsing the web can be less secure than most users would hope. If that concerns you, a virtual private network — aka a VPN — is a decent solution. Check out a few of the best VPN services on the market.
Computing

Get ready to say goodbye to some IFTTT support in Gmail by March 31

If This Then That, the popular automation service, will drop some of its support for Gmail by March 31. The decision comes as a response to security concerns and is aimed to protect user data.
Photography

Insta-checkout? New Instagram service lets you shop without leaving the platform

Shopping on Instagram no longer means leaving the platform to checkout in a web browser. Instagram checkout launched in beta today with a handful of retailers, allowing users to checkout without leaving the app.
Social Media

Facebook may soon let you watch live TV with friends in Watch Party

Facebook Watch Party is designed to allow friends to watch together, even when they can't be in the same physical space. Now, that feature could be expanding to include live TV. Facebook announced a test of the feature, starting with live…
Social Media

Federal investigation digs into Facebook’s data-sharing deals

Facebook confirmed it is cooperating with a federal criminal investigation. According to a report, the company is under investigation for sharing user data with smartphone and tablet companies.
Social Media

Facebook explains its worst outage as 3 million users head to Telegram

Facebook, if you didn't already know it, suffered a bit of an issue on Wednesday, March 13. An issue that took down not only its social networking site, but also Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger. On Thursday it offered an explanation.
Gaming

Snapchat could soon let you play games in between your selfies

If a new report is accurate, Snapchat will be getting an integrated gaming platform in April. The platform will feature mobile games form third-party developers, and one publisher is already signed on.
Social Media

Twitter is testing a handy subscription feature for following threads

Twitter has recently started testing a feature that lets you subscribe to a thread so that you’ll no longer need to like a comment or post to it yourself in order to receive notifications of new contributions.
Social Media

Your Google+ public content will remain viewable on the web, if you want it to

Google's failed social network — Google+ — will soon be wiped from the internet, but there's a team of volunteers working right now to save its public content for the Internet Archive.
Computing

There’s more space on MySpace after ‘accidental’ wipe of 50 million songs

MySpace is no longer a safe refuge for music and media produced in the 2000s. It said that almost any artistic content uploaded to the site between 2003 and 2015 may have been lost as part of a server migration last year.
Computing

Intel and Facebook team up to give Cooper Lake an artificial intelligence boost

Intel's upcoming Cooper Lake microarchitecture will be getting a boost when it comes to artificial intelligence processes, thanks to a partnership with Facebook. The results are CPUs that are able to work faster.
Social Media

New Zealand attack shows that as A.I. filters get smarter, so do violators

The shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand were livestreamed to social media, and while stats show networks are improving at removing offending videos, as the system improves, so do the violators' workarounds.
Web

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. But with so many subreddits to choose from, exploring them can be overwhelming. Here are some of the best subreddits to get you started.