A new feature is being tested by the Facebook team, using a small sample of users – myself included. The premise is to enable users to notify a select group (up to 10) of your friends any time you post a status update. This is what it looks like in my account

Clearly, Facebook waited for me to post my most controversial status update (I never normally venture into politics on social media) to roll this out into my account 🙂 I suppose controversy is what the internet feeds on so I’m happy to share my two cents here.

So, to reverse-engineer the solution, it looks like the issue of decreasing organic reach and the randomness of the Facebook algorithm is starting to affect non-business users and Facebook are finally trying to remedy that. Could the solution be to notify those who could potentially be interested in the update? One obvious benefit for Facebook itself will be the ability to track more directly who the users interact with and in what way. More big data to chew on.

The solution would be better if the given status update would just appear in a selected friend’s feed, rather than sending them a notification, which to me seems rather pushy. Also, I must admit I was surprised this feature didn’t require me to fill in my credit card details. After all, there surely are people out there willing to pay to voice their opinions on the European Union and immigration. Or is this perhaps the next move in monetising the platform? First make businesses pay to talk to their fans, next make users pay to talk to their friends.

Having said that, wouldn’t this be a great feature to have as a business page?

Would you use this function if it was rolled out globally? Do you think sending people notifications about your updates is intrusive? How is this solution better than simply tagging friends in your updates?

 

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