Is Facebook getting greedy?

Some people say that a company is truly successful when it goes public and investors flock to buy shares. However, I for one believe that you have really become a household name when even the humble Word spell checker and dictionary know your name. A few months ago, my spellchecker used to correct all typed instances of Facebook. Not anymore; the social network is now a part of our history and a piece of 21st century culture just like Street Art or MacDonald’s.  

Would you pay for louder updates on Facebook?
But is Facebook a little too eager, or shall we say, greedy to capitalise on its enormous success? In May this year, Facebook started testing a system that lets users pay to highlight or promote posts. The concept is simple: it is an obvious money-making scheme. By paying a small fee, users can ensure that information they post on the social network is more visible to friends, family and colleagues. The tests are currently being conducted in New Zealand and according to a company spokesperson the goal was to see if users were interested in paying to flag up their information.

As individual users, I am sure many of you will rather go and have pint at the local pub (I know I would; 2 updates = 1 pint of ale).

But what could this mean for businesses? First of all, it will take the impact of social media away from small business users and give it to the companies with the largest advertising budgets. £1.25 may not sound like a lot, but think of all the updates you are issuing to your company’s audience for free. Multiply them and soon the figure looks quite daunting. That is not to say that companies have to adopt the ‘paid for’ option; the normal, free updates will still be available, but paid for ones will take precedence.

At the moment, the scheme is still being tested, but I am sure that Facebook's recent stock market flotation will prompt the company’s leaders to think of more ways to make money. As for engineering companies, they will have to keep up and rapidly adapt to the changing world of social media.

PS: Don’t sit on the fence; it can’t be very comfortable anyway. Get in touch and let us know if your company is willing to pay and have Facebook updates highlighted to clients and followers. 

Photo courtesy of Renjith Krishnan,

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Stone Junction is a cool technical PR agency based in Stafford. We work for all sorts of businesses, with a particular focus on technology, technical and engineering companies. We like being sent cake and biscuits by clients, journalists and prospects.

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