Facebook charges users for prominent posts
Facebook has started testing a system of charging users to promote their own posts.
The ‘pay to promote’ system is being trialled in New Zealand, and allows users to make the posts they make on the social network more conspicuous to their friends on the site.
Facebook said it was using a series of different prices in the trial, and is also offering a free option. A user in Whangerei, New Zealand, said he was offered a $2(US; £1.25) price, and that the post would have been displayed on a yellow background.
Facebook spokeswoman Mia Garlick confirmed to Stuff NZ that the idea 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.
Other users on Facebook have reported seeing prices equivalent to 25p or 50p, with the option to pay via credit card or PayPal.
As more users have signed up to the popular social network, Facebook has struggled to make posts of the greatest interest stand out. Its algorithms currently promote updates that attract comments or 'likes'.
Facebook is set to go public on the stockmarket with an initial valuation of $96billion, and is likely to look over time at a range of other ways in which it can earn money. The firm highlighted its own need to maximise revenue from mobile phones, although this new services appears to initially be aimed at users of the desktop site.
Despite rapid growth in revenue, recent growth in Facebook profits has slowed.
Ian Maude, internet analyst an Enders Analysis, told the BBC, "We're going to see a lot more ideas like this where they are testing out different ways to try to make money."