Facebook testing letting users pay to advertise to their friends [Update: We got it too!]

Recently, Facebook announced "sponsored stories" for the news feed, but it appears they are trying to make it even more personal than before with a new feature that allows users to highlight their status updates in their feed to make them more prominent, by pushing them to the top of the feed despite their age. 

The feature was uncovered by Stuff, where a Facebook user in Whangarei, New Zealand accidentally found the feature while using Facebook. Apparently, she originally thought it was a scam, but Facebook has confirmed that it is a new feature in testing. 

A spokesperson for Facebook said that they are "constantly testing new features across the site. This particular test is simply to gauge people's interest in this method of sharing with their friends" and that they are trialling different price points, including offering the feature for free to see if users will use it.

Once paid for, the feature simply moves the users status higher up the news feed or picture posts and makes them remain higher in the news feed for longer. Facebook didn't specify if this feature would roll out to everyone, or if it would even see the light of day outside of the small test group.

This is the first time that Facebook has attempted to monetize individual users rather than just businesses, just before their IPO offering is to be completed.

Update: We just got the feature... ironically on a post about the new feature! You can see the post here, which appears at the top of my friends' news feeds. It's not clear how long that actually lasts. We were also able to get it to show up as costing in some cases, and not costing other times in our tests, depending on if a link was included in the status or not.

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