Facebook recently introduced "Promoted Posts," a feature that allows fan pages to pay for an extended distribution of their status updates to page fans. There are plenty of places to get a breakdown of what this is but we suggest you start with this really awkward FB webinar on the subject. Aside from the guy on the far right clearly having a crush on the female host, this webinar puts the awkward Facebook monetization issue center stage.
So, what does this mean? Well, let's say you're one of Air North's 2300+ fans but only liked the page a year ago because they posted a cool photo. Well, you probably haven't been back since and you almost never see an Air North post in your news feed. That's because you essentially met Air North at a bar, they were friends of a friend and you two met over rum and cokes. Sure, they're your friend now, but only in the "we nod at each other on Main Street" sort of way.
Now Air North wants to tell you about a great seat sale they're having. Since you "like" them on Facebook, they pay Facebook a little cash to make sure their seat sale post appears in your news feed — that's Promoted Posts.
What does this writer think of this new feature? He hates the idea. (You better believe I wrote that in the third person.)
Five years from now, when folks are writing blog posts about the decisions that led to Facebook’s downfall, this will be one of the examples they'll use to explain how the site became about money instead of social interaction. Is it great in the very short term for businesses? Yes. Do I still hate it? Yes.
Here’s why: The news feed is the Holy Grail — it's the one place on Facebook that you know without a doubt that you've chosen to interact with the content. Your news feed is based on the content you browse most often. My news feed is filled with a few old friends, some brands I really like and social movement stuff. My wife’s? Well, if you've had a baby recently then you're probably in my wife’s news feed.
Promoted Posts are akin to a newspaper publishing news content that positively reflects an advertiser in exchange for money. It's just not cool.
I obviously have an opinion, what's yours? What do you think of Promoted Posts? Are they something you want your brand associated with?