The feature — discovered by Stuff, a New Zealand blog (which is unaffiliated with the U.K. publication of the same name) — is being tested with a “small percentage of users” right now, a Facebook rep says. The fee for using Highlighted Posts, meanwhile, runs from zero to “a couple of bucks.”
When asked who would use the product, the rep gave the example of a small band plugging an upcoming gig or someone selling their car. The latter appears to be new ground for Facebook since the company hasn’t previously offered users the ability to amplify their status updates. If the program is successful, it could let Facebook enter the online classified market, a segment that the IAB pegged at $2.6 billion in 2011.
It’s unclear how the program — which is similar to new ad products aimed at corporate users — would work and if it would function along the lines of Reach Generator, a Facebook ad product that ensures that a high percentage of people in your network see your post.
The rep stressed that Highlighted Posts is one of many products the company is testing right now.
The introduction comes a week before Facebook’s expected IPO. Facebook filed an amended S-1 form on Wednesday highlighting the fact that its advertising growth hasn’t kept pace with its exploding user base.