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.