04 Oct 2012
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Facebook debuts "pay to promote posts" after NZ trials

Facebook users across the U.S. are being given the option of paying to promote certain wall posts and updates following trials in New Zealand.

The social networking site is giving users the chance to pay for highlighting particular updates by keeping them at the top of news feeds and flagging them to other users.

While always declaring the site is "free and always will be", if users want more friends to see what they say it could come at a cost.

After trialling the feature in New Zealand, Facebook has gradually introduced the scheme to over 20 countries with the U.S. next to follow suit.

The social media giant says it is handy for promoting garage sales, charity drives or big news to friends, while avoiding questions on costs.

"Every day, news feed delivers your posts to your friends," says Abhishek Doshi, a software engineer at Facebook.

"Sometimes a particular friend might not notice your post, especially if a lot of their friends have been posting recently and your story isn't near the top of their feed."

At the time of trialling, the site insisted the tests were to detect public opinion and not a sign of change.

"This particular test is simply to gauge people's interest in this method of sharing with their friends," Facebook told UK news website the BBC.

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