Would You Pay to Promote Your Facebook Status?

You may have noticed lately that after posting your über-important hourly Facebook status update, a little box pops up asking if you would like to promote said status. Promoting your Facebook status? That's about as logical as that guy who tells everyone on Facebook he has gas.

Since the social media giant often defines logic, now, for a whopping $7, you can highlight to your friends how important whatever it is you are doing is. With the promote option, you move your status update to the top of friends' newsfeeds to ensure that they read your post, or at least give that post a fighting chance amongst the clutter. It's like paying to cut the line, but it's a sad and pathetic line that never ends.

Breaking through the clutter by asking subscribers to pay may "hurt long-term engagement," says the Wall Street Journal. If people go for this idea as a novelty and Zuckerberg makes some bucks off of it, it could turn more people off, especially companies who already pay to promote their statuses, which is actually called advertising, in case you didn't know.

However, if everyone starts promoting their status updates, won't that bring us right back to square one? How can you break through the clutter that's cluttering the clutter? Figure it out, Harvard Business School!

I tried to wrack my brain to think of a reason that someone may want to promote his own status update. Maybe if you got married and wanted to show your old flames how skinny you got for the wedding, this may warrant promotion. Or perhaps your baby/dog/parrot is just so damn cute today that you desperately need the world to know/validate your reason for living, this too may give cause to promote.

Maybe if I was a famous person, like, say, Paris Hilton, I might want to promote my status updates, especially the really profound ones.

Or maybe I would promote if I had something worth promoting. There are plenty of arts organizations whose marketing budget is roughly the equivalent of $7; a cheap way to get their word out might be worth it.

To find out what others thought of this new innovation, I posted to my own Facebook what people thought and if they would bother doing this. I pondered (aloud) if maybe I should promote my own status to get more people to read it and thus get more feedback -- but I don't get paid that much.

It was brought up that perhaps theater or arts companies might benefit from this type of promotion. If you have a show coming up, sure, but general consensus said that promoting yourself seemed weird and even creepy.

We live in an incredibly narcissistic world right now; Facebook has convinced us all that everything we have to say is vital to the evolution of the human species. As disgusting as it may sound, paying to feed that ever growing ego isn't all that far-fetched.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Abby Koenig
Contact: Abby Koenig