Facebook allows users to pay to promote their friends’ posts

Facebook will expand its Promoted Post feature to enable users to pay to promote posts their friends made, a company spokesperson tells us.

Promoting a post will not make it visible anyone outside of the post’s original privacy settings, but it will make it featured more prominently in users feeds. Previously, users could only promote their own posts, even if they were tagged in a friend’s post. Now they can cross promote posts by selecting the option from a drop-down menu in the top right corner of a post or by checking a box when they share a friend’s post.

This change expands the opportunities for people to use the paid feature. Facebook suggests that users could promote their friends’ posts to help them publicize an event, raise money for charity or find a roommate, for example. They could also use Promoted Posts to congratulate a friend who posted good news.

With Promoted Posts and Sponsored Stories it can sometimes be unclear who paid for a post to appear in News Feed, but Facebook says for this new feature, it will indicate who promoted a post. Promoted Posts will include a label that says “Sponsored by [user’s name].”

The ability to promote friends posts will roll out gradually to users in all regions. There is not a way to opt out of letting friends promote your posts, so Facebook will need to make it clear to users that their posts won’t be seen by anyone outside of what their privacy settings allow.

These Promoted Posts are only available to users on desktop, and are limited to users who have fewer than 5,000 friends or subscribers. Facebook has been experimenting with price points for Promoted Posts, but recently we’ve seen $7 to be a common fee. Although this is not likely to be a feature people use very frequently, even if a percentage of users tried it occasionally, it could become a more significant source of revenue in the future. Facebook made $5 million from non-game payments in Q4 2012, which came primarily from user Promoted Posts.

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