Beyond “Highlight”: Paying for Promotion on Facebook

Facebook is testing a new feature that lets users “highlight” their important posts, making them more likely (but not guaranteed) to appear in their friends’ feeds. This is a fantastic idea. I can’t begin to count how many of my status updates have failed to get even a single comment or like. The only possible explanation is that people aren’t seeing them; this new feature would fix that.

Highlighting is a premium service; this price list includes some additional options that I’m sure they’re working on:

Description Price
Highlighting Your post is more likely to appear in your friends’ feeds and to stay visible longer. $2 / post
Super Highlighting Your post is guaranteed to appear in all your friends’ feeds. Friends who have not yet liked or commented on your post will be presented with a popup window inviting them to do so. $3 / post
Ultra Highlighting All the benefits of super highlighting, plus Facebook will send each of your friends an email and text message notifying them of your post. $4 / post
Mega Highlighting All the benefits of ultra highlighting, plus Facebook will send each of your friends a series of reminder email and text messages until they comment on or like your post. $5 / post
Imaginary Friends™ Facebook will create a fictitious “friend” for you who will post flattering comments and likes to your status updates, photos, and links at random intervals. $6 / Imaginary Friend™ / month; 10% discount on orders of more than 4.
Imaginary Friend™ Wall Posts One of your Imaginary Friends™ will post a message of your choosing to your wall. Popular selections include “You look great! Have you lost weight?” or “I know you don’t want anyone to know it’s your birthday, but HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!”. $4 / post; only available to people who have at least one Imaginary Friend™.

If you highlight a lot of posts, this could get a little costly. I looked at my own timeline to figure out how much I’ll wind up spending on this feature. I started by circling the updates that are so important that they practically cry out to be highlighted:

A very boring Facebook timeline, with some updates marked for highlighting.

An excerpt from my Facebook timeline. The circled posts are the ones that I’d highlight.

Only about a dozen of the updates I post each day are super-important, and I think I could probably get by with just the basic highlighting. So for just $24 / day — about what I spend on my daily half-dozen coffees at Starbucks — I can make sure my friends are somewhat less likely to miss my most significant news. Thank you, Facebook; this is just what I (and my friends) needed.

I’m going to be moving this blog to a new server, probably around May 26. If you use an RSS reader, have the site bookmarked, or come in through a static html link (like a blogroll), , or if you do NOT have a wordpress.com account, then you shouldn’t notice any difference. But this blog will no longer be available through the wordpress.com reader, nor will it be sent via mail to people who signed up using wordpress.com accounts after the move, so if that applies to you, please switch to one of the other methods. Please, please switch. This blog will be a sad and lonely place if you don’t come with me. But, you know, no pressure.

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Posted in Humor
29 comments on “Beyond “Highlight”: Paying for Promotion on Facebook
  1. Ah, already I’ve saved at least $24.00 a day by giving up Facebook last year!
    Fun post Laura!
    As for your little challenge, I’ll guess that 1: You are replying to comments before you made them, and 2: You woke your cat before he was dosing off…

  2. Reggie says:

    Riveting FaceBook updates! I can’t imagine why you didn’t get a flurry of responses from all your friends to those posts. Totally love the Imaginary Friends option – at $6 a month that’s actually quite a reasonable price. Will they also tag you in pictures with themselves? That should be interesting to see!

    p.s. You might want to ease off a bit on the coffee though…. half-a-dozen Big Starbucks Coffee-Mugs every day would launch me into space, I think… ;-)

    • Laura says:

      If I didn’t drink six coffees every day, I wouldn’t be able to check Facebook all night.

      That’s a good question about tagging — I’m guessing that will be an option. You’ll also be able to specify some guidelines about how the appearance of each Imaginary Friend™ when its created, to make sure you look as attractive as possible when standing next to them.

  3. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    This is priceless! Hilarious! There’s nothing I like more than a good mocking of the ridiculousness that Facebook is. Of course, they feed right into the savage desire of millions of people who want some attention – any attention at all. And I love your Facebook posts chronicling your spot in the queue.

    • Laura says:

      Thanks. Cake pops really are a mystery to me.

      • pegoleg says:

        Wait…this is mockery of ridiculousness? Damn! I just sent my credit card info to get the Deluxe Imaginary Friend Wall Posts option. Facebook, you got some ‘splainin to do!

        And it is NOT a breech of all laws of common decency to post a status update every 30 seconds you are in line at Starbucks, no matter what anybody says, so you go, girl!

        • Laura says:

          You should see my Twitter updates:

          – Third in line at Starbucks.
          – Still third in line at Starbucks.
          – Third in line
          – At Starbucks
          – Still.

  4. Gail says:

    I’m so excited. I have a new idea… Show your friends that you’re REALLY their friends by buying them an IMAGINARY FRIEND GIFT CERTIFICATE! Maybe $10 a pop (oh, sorry, I have cake pops on my mind). I know that a straight-out imaginary friend is only $6, but with a gift certificate there’d be shipping and handling, of course. What a deal. No more worrying about birthday presents for 5000 friends…

    • Laura says:

      You might also want to purchase Friend Agent™ for yourself — it’s an app that will post positive-sounding comments and likes that appear to be coming from you on your friends’ posts. It’s great for those times when you want to appear to care more than you actually do.

  5. Dana says:

    You might want to Mega Highlight the announcement about your blog moving to a new server. Otherwise, you might have to invest a lot in Imaginary Friends wall posts and/or blog comments in the future.

  6. Holly Folly says:

    Does anyone else think that Facebook, is slowly sliding into the same black hole that ate MySpace? Like maybe all social media sites are really like stars, and eventually they will burn out and be sucked into a terrible half life phase before one last media supernova blitz? Just me? (I am extremely sleep deprived, but you can’t tell can you?)

  7. List of X says:

    And lets not forget about Facebook premium service of NOT making some of your posts and photos visible to public.

  8. Classic. You should contact Zuck about doing sales for him, because now this TOTALLY makes sense!

    And thanks for the reminder about the box – I have sooooooo many emails from commenting on blogs this week!

  9. nursemyra says:

    I get here via a static link but I’d follow you to the ends of the earth. though maybe not on facebook

  10. Where can I sign up to play cakeball?

  11. denise:) says:

    Hmm. The scary thing is, FB would do this and people would pay for it!! That would be the end of it for me.
    On the other hand, your cat pics and up to the minute status updates could be enough for me to try and overlook the highlights and email reminders. If only my real and imagined friends had as an exciting life as you. *sighs*

  12. Binky says:

    I guess they’ve got to start producing some serious income if they’re going to justify how much their stock is supposedly going to be worth.

  13. So, by not being on Facebook, I’m saving you money? You are welcome.

  14. yearstricken says:

    I would like to pay for my imaginary friends with my imaginary money. Do you think that would work?

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