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Facebook starts charging users to highlight posts

Date

TOM PULLAR-STRECKER

Supplied screencap of Facebook's new 'highlight' feature.

Supplied screencap of Facebook's new 'highlight' feature.

Facebook is considering charging its members $US2 ($1.98) to "highlight" important posts so they are more visible on the social networking site.

The feature is being trialled and was chanced across by a Facebook user in Whangarei, New Zealand, who initially assumed it might be a scam.

However, Facebook spokeswoman Mia Garlick confirmed it was a new "feature" it was testing.

"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," she said.

Facebook was trialling the feature at a range of different price points, including offering it "free", she said. This means that during the trial members may be asked to different amounts, or nothing, to use it.

The trial appears to mark Facebook's first attempt to make money from postings by regular users and comes as it is gearing up for a public listing which is expected to value the company at about $US90 billion.

The Whangarei man said he was given the option of paying to highlight status updates and picture posts with a yellow background when he logged on to his Facebook page this morning.

Stuff.co.nz

76 comments

  • meh this is on tumblr, no one uses it there

    Commenter
    grant
    Location
    melbourne
    Date and time
    May 11, 2012, 4:10PM
    • ...ahh...here comes the trickle before the flood of charges...I wondered when that would kick in...and how long it will take for them to charge posts "by the number of characters", "size of images", "thumbs up", etc...up goes the share price I guess.

      Commenter
      ob1
      Location
      Melrose Park
      Date and time
      May 11, 2012, 4:13PM
      • ... and down comes the number of users...

        Commenter
        Alistair
        Date and time
        May 11, 2012, 4:20PM
      • FB is already over valued by roughly 200%. Thats before they upgrade the "$10B" to "$100B". What hyped planet are these spruikers from? dot.com2 is about to pop.

        Commenter
        Liberator
        Location
        SEQLD
        Date and time
        May 11, 2012, 4:27PM
    • So who doesn't charge these days!?
      Remember when ATM's were free of charge to use
      Even EBay cost even more these days
      Trading Post........
      Everything was free in begining......they get you in get you settled them suck the life out you with fees

      That's life Sanyo

      Commenter
      stnc
      Date and time
      May 11, 2012, 4:20PM
      • Yeah... Just like Coles with their new orange and walnut cookies !!

        Commenter
        Kel
        Date and time
        May 13, 2012, 9:47AM
    • You gotta be joking.
      Firstly they trick people into giving them their personal data
      Then they try to sell junk shares in their IPO to make themselves into 100 billionaires.
      now they want to charge you to highlight certain stuff.

      DONT USE IT unless you have a fake id - like me!

      Commenter
      big
      Location
      uzbechatouatou
      Date and time
      May 11, 2012, 4:22PM
      • @big, ever heard of an IP address? Ever heard of FB's facial recognition abilities? You can call yourself whatever you like on FB, they still know who and where you are.

        Commenter
        not big, but smart
        Date and time
        May 11, 2012, 4:56PM
      • How are either of your comments relevant @big and @big not smart? FB is an entertainment site and/or a service depending on your needs ( a la business and community pages). It's a no-brainer and perfectly acceptable that FB would propose user charges despite already gaining revenue from ads. Don't like it, don't use it. Pretty simple. As for ip addresses being known and the fact that there's no privacy on the internet - that's nothing new. We've known this for at least 20 years. If you get spam, direct it into junk, unsubscribe (to state the obvious) and if worse comes to worse, get a new email address. Or more cleverly, don't sign up to anything new with your main, favourite email address.

        Commenter
        Overreaction
        Location
        NSW
        Date and time
        May 12, 2012, 8:15AM
      • @not big, but smart > not entirely accurate. using a fake ID makes it impossible for fb to figure out who you really are as one IP address can be shared by many many profiles, that's why they insist on users real names because they can't sell fake id's to the marketing corporations. it's exactly like looking at a photo of a stranger and not knowing nothing about them. it's an image and nothing beyond that in terms of figuring out key demographics such as occupation and income and etc etc...

        Commenter
        AA
        Location
        The Right Side
        Date and time
        May 12, 2012, 9:18PM

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