Normal people paying to promote ham sandwich-eating posts on Facebook? Yep.

Earlier today I was telling a client about Facebook’s recent Edgerank algorithm tweaks that further hamper the organic visibility of Brand Page posts in a user’s timeline.

You may have noticed fewer posts from brands on your own timeline (or that the majority of posts you do see from brands are photos or “like-bait” updates that are designed to drive attention rather than communicate messaging). This is all by Facebook’s design to retain users, drive engagement and monetize brands.

Simply put, Facebook is slowly clamping down on marketers’ free ride on the platform, and paid media will continue to emerge as a necessity when building marketing programs on Facebook.

Today, Facebook took that quest for maximum likes, comments and shares to the next level, introducing promoted posts for the average user.

That’s right. If you want to make sure more people see your update about that garage sale, block party or ham sandwich you’re eating, just pony up a few bucks to reach a wider audience.

From Techcrunch:

After you publish a post, a Promote button will let you pay to bump up its rank in the news feed — making it appear both higher in the feed, and to a larger portion of your friends. Unpromoted posts are typically only seen by 12-16% of your friends.

After you Promote a post, it will be marked “Sponsored”, and you can check to see how many more people saw it because you paid. For example, you’d see “So far you post has had 3.8x as many views because you promoted it.”

Promoted posts are already live in about 20 countries, and although detractors are shouting the rich will soon own the newsfeeds, I tend to believe we’ll adjust to in-stream advertising from our friends more readily than from brands vying for our attention.

Here’s the new option in action:



Would you pay to promote your own status? Maybe I would pay for you to see this post. Or maybe not.