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Is Facebook changing now that it goes public next week?

Facebook has grown to 900 million subscribers

Facebook has done extremely well. It is grown at record speed. Will this all change when they go public and have to deal with shareholders?

  • Check out what they are testing in New Zealand

I am sure it is no new news to you that Facebook is going public next week. I am sure that it will be financially very beneficial for those involved with Facebook. But what is it going to do for us, users of the platform? After all, Facebook will have to worry about keeping shareholders happy. A worry they did not have until now. And it seems that Facebook is taking this new responsibility seriously.

They are testing a new system that lets users pay to make their status update more visible. In essence you can pay a small fee to Facebook to have a status update show up on your social network in a more eye-catching way. Facebook Highlight, as it is called, will take priority over the posts from your closest Facebook friends or others who have made a significant amount of comments and/or likes on your wall. Not only will they be displayed before other posts that would usually be ahead, the Highlights will stay on top longer also, so more people will have a chance to see it.

Apparently, different price points are being tested. Ranging from $0.40 to $2.00 per update. It is not entirely clear what the differences are between regular posts and these Highlights, but some people have reported multiple options whereas others have mentioned a yellow background. The reasoning behind this latest development within Facebook lies in the fact that status updates are being replaced by new updates so frequently that on average only 12% of your “friends” will see the update. Highlights would definitely help solve that problem. The question, obviously is why paid?

Since it is a paid service, lets compare with the advertising that is already taking place on  Facebook first. Having your ads in the news feed, will give a lot more attention without a doubt. The Highlight ads will be much more visible. Even more so on mobile devices, where sidebars don’t exist. So from an advertiser standpoint this latest development could be a good thing. From a user perspective this is not the case. I hate the idea of having someone else control what shows up on my feed. The question immediately arises how many of these Highlights can be on my feed at one time. And if they are drawing all the attention, what will it do to my Facebook experience.

I realize that the same must have been the case with radio and television in the early days. People must have said the exact same things about the commercials when they first came onto the scene. And we have not stopped watching/listening because of them. If Facebook were to implement this new way of advertising (and Facebook has not said they would), we will probably get used to it. That does not mean that I would be happy with this latest development. Not even as an internet marketer.

For the same reason as I hated it when Facebook started placing these large banner ads on my wall, I am sure it will irritate me when ads will be the main eye catcher on a page that I consider mine. I guess that is the whole issue, we consider our pages “ours”, but in reality they are not. Facebook owns the platform and can do with it whatever they want. Up to a certain point, of course. If we all feel that Facebook Highlights are not acceptable and are going elsewhere, Facebook will have to make a decision as to whether they want to continue this kind of advertising or not. But before 900 million  get up and leave a lot of bad things need to happen.

As long as Facebook makes sure that any new feature is not disrupting the existing successful features too much, I guess they will continue to dominate the social networking market. What is your opinion? Is paid advertising on your news feed a big deal or not? Would you use it if you could to advertise your business? Let us know in the comments how you feel about this latest Facebook test.

To your success,

  • idea management solutions

    Ya!I think you are right here with have a good opinion.I think it’s a best article of this blog.Keep writing continue.

  • vy tail lights

    I think it is a good thing. Facebook brings a lot to the table and there’s too much of a benefit for any person to be using it.