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Facebook Test Turns Users Into Advertisers
Financial Times | October 04, 2012 | 04:35 AM EDT

Facebook is testing a new product in the US that allows ordinary users to pay to promote their own status updates, marking a shift in the social network’s willingness to charge its users for a core service.

The product has potential to generate revenues, analysts said, but could also threaten the organic feel of the site as people pay to market their own social lives .

“This is consumers becoming advertisers,” said Rebecca Lieb, an analyst with the Altimeter Group. “It’s also an interesting way for Facebook to get more data out of their users, because anybody who pays to promote a post will supply their credit card information.”

Facebook began testing the feature in New Zealand in May, then rolled it out to more than 20 other countries with prices ranging from $1 to $12 per post. On Wednesday, it began offering the feature in the US, where most of Facebook’s revenues are generated, to users with less than 5,000 friends for $7 per post.

“When you promote a post — whether it’s wedding photos, a garage sale, or big news — you bump it higher in news feed so your friends and subscribers are more likely to notice it,” Facebook said in a blog post.

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