31 October 2012

Promoted Personal Posts & Narcissism.

"Every day, news feed delivers the stories you post to your friends and subscribers. Promote important posts to help people notice them. Promoted posts appear higher in news feed, so there's a better chance your audience will see them". So goes the pitch for Facebook's Promoted Posts.

Makes sense for FB to tweak EdgeRank & throttle Organic Reach, using relevance as an alibi, and force Brand Pages to pay for incremental reach via Promoted Posts. This option is also being beta tested on select personal accounts (see image).

Now, people claim to share information about themselves on Facebook as one of the ways to maintain relationships. Although in reality, the tendency is to overshare or share selectively the updates that help curate identities.

So what would us humans make of people using the option of promoted posts to push their updates into your eyeballs?

Without getting into a heavy debate about "Does Facebook Turn People Into Narcissists? & Promoted Posts  even more so, I'd argue:

  • People spend time, effort & money on grooming, wardrobes, accessories, toys and experiences to stand out. Some even plan a holiday with a particular status update in mind. Anyone who claims they are not looking for huge responses on posting an important update just sold you a fish story. So why not? Especially when they couldn't be arsed to game their ermm.. *EdgeRank.
  • On the other hand, if all that one's friends & connections see are update after updates labelled *Sponsored*, you know who's on the slippery slope to becoming lonely & sad.