Ignored by everybody? Try paying Facebook

Posted by Emma Woollacott

If you find that none of your friends is taking any notice of your Facebook posts, you may decide to try and make them less boring. But US users now have an alternative - pay Facebook to shove your news right under your friends' noses.

The company's expanding its Promoted Posts, first tried in New Zealand in May, into the US. It works on the same principle as its Promoted Posts for businesses.

"Every day, news feed delivers your posts to your friends. Sometimes a particular friend might not notice your post, especially if a lot of their friends have been posting recently and your story isn’t near the top of their feed," says software engineer Abhishek Doshi.

"When you promote a post – whether it’s wedding photos, a garage sale, or big news – you bump it higher in news feed so your friends and subscribers are more likely to notice it."

Promoted Posts also let the user see just how many of their friends have checked out their news.

The test service is available only to people with fewer than 5,000 friends and subscribers. Right now, it's costing $7 per time, although as it's just a test this fee could change. But it could be a nice little earner for the company, as it represents almost pure profit.

However, the company's treading a fine line here. it's not the best marketing strategy, after all, to tell your users that the normal service they thought they were getting isn't in fact, terribly efficient.

And if Promoted Posts really take off, any non-promoted posts will by definition be relegated further down the news feed; some people may feel they're being blackmailed into promoting a post, just to get the same level of service they had before.