Ahead of Facebook’s IPO, it seems like they are throwing around some ideas to help monetize their site. If they are going to convince major investors to pay more to buy into Facebook than any other tech offering in history…well it makes sense that they are going to entice investors with new ways to make money. What is scary, is when a successful formula is changed simply to squeeze out a few more bucks to impress investors. And a Facebook ‘pay to post’ model, seems to be one of the worst ideas that Facebook could ever have thought of. It completely destroys their user experience, and gives a huge advantage to Google+. But it seems like they are actually testing a pay to post model right now.
The idea is simple, if you have important posts (I’m getting Married…or whatever) you can pay (up to $2.00) for that post to stay near the top of your page allowing more people to see it. Now adding that free feature (allowing you to move selected posts to the top of your page) would be incredible, and it would certainly be used frequently. But users and Facebook have already signed a long social contract. Users will NOT pay Facebook to post content, and in exchange Facebook will deliver ads to their page. It has worked out brilliantly, but a move to both pay to post content AND have ads delivered on your page will feel like a ‘double dip’ to users. We will see if Facebook actually allows this feature to go public, but certainly Google will be looking on with great interest.