Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Facebook Tests Paid Status Updates Feature in New Zealand

Facebook has now begun offering a new feature that will make Facebook users’ post of status updates more prominently seen on the social network, according to But here’s the catch-- this new feature costs $2!

Being tested first with some users in New Zealand, the users were offered a chance to highlight an important post by paying two New Zealand dollars. This new paid posts is said to offer test participants the option to "highlight" a post after submitting it, and then pay, if that version of the test requires it. This highlighted post, the status update and the photo against a yellow background, will be placed atop news feeds and will be seen by other Facebook users marked as "Highlighted" under the post, indicating that their friend chose that option.

With prices offered at different price points, ranging from free to $2, Facebook users are provided with a range of payment options, such as a credit or debit card, PayPal, or Facebook Credits.

According to Facebook spokesperson Alex Hollander, the test was made to “simply to gauge people's interest in this method of sharing with their friends".

Ethan Hays, search director at New York ad agency Gyro, stated, "The end user may well find it to be a very useful tool to gain visibility for messages that are important to them, and rise above the huge volume of comments that flow through the news feed."

This recent development comes interestingly a week before Facebook’s expected initial public offering of stock, which is said to come on May 18.

Facebook had held events with potential investors last week. These include the one held in Silicon Valley last Friday, and the posting of a version of its road show online.

This said latest offering could place the value of Facebook at nearly $100 billion, which is more than Kraft, Ford and other major brands.

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