Facebook is rolling out a new feature that allows your friends to promote any post you have shared from your News Feed, profile, or Page, for a fee of about $7. The feature is still in the testing phase and ranges in price based on your location.
The new revenue-generating feature will help to make certain posts more visible on a larger scale: only about 16% of your friends see the average Facebook post, but with Promote, posts will appear in the News Feed of those who would typically miss it.
There definitely are perks to Promote: if you have a friend promoting a charity or is looking to sublet their apartment, for example, Facebook Promote will get your post to the largest audience fast.
The feature does however, spark privacy concerns. The largest worry is that you don’t need a friend’s permission to promote their post. All it takes is one malicious “friend” to promote that album you have from senior year of college, clutching an empty Colt-45 and two zigzags, passed out on the couch, and pull it to the top of your news feed for all to see. Beware of angry exes and backstabbing friends!
Although it’s not clear whether the feature will gain any traction in the market, we still suggest going through your Facebook content and removing any old pictures or posts you don’t want resurfacing (remember: you still have to deal with Facebook’s Graph Search bringing up any content you’ve ever posted). Start with photos, and if you want to get really deep, go through every item in your Activity Log. Facebook could eventually get rid of Promote, but to be safe, take an hour out of your day to remove any pictures that aren’t fit to be seen by all 767 of your Facebook friends. We don’t know about you, but when it comes to online privacy, it’s better to be safe than sorry.