In the latest rather obvious attempt to monetize every inch of its network, Facebook is now trying to charge you to promote not just your own content — they think you'll pay for your friends' wall posts, too. This whole paying-for-posts thing must be bringing in easy money because now, in addition to charging you money to push up your own posts higher in the News Feed of your friends, you can do the same with someone else's stuff. Today's new rollout works exactly like promoting your own posts, TechCrunch's John Constine explains. As you can see in the photo at right, via TechCrunch, simply click the Promote widget and set a budget. The price will vary by geography and how many people your friend's post might end up reaching. The privacy of the post doesn't change. Promoting something for a friend with "only friends" will push the update out to only those people. A public post will have wider reach.
For people who use Facebook as a way to, you know, communicate with friends, this feature might sound kind of ridiculous. Why pay extra to share that funny YouTube video that someone else found with even more people? The social network, however, has some suggestions:
If your friend is running a marathon for charity and has posted that information publicly, you can help that friend by promoting their post to all of your friends. Or if your friend is renting their apartment out and she tells her friends on Facebook, you can share the post with the people you and your friend have in common so that it shows up higher in news feed and more people notice it.
In other words, it's for the more utilitarian Facebookers, and apparently enough of those exist for Facebook to make money off them.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.