Sydney: Social networking giant Facebook is apparently suppressing posts unless users pay hefty fees to the firm, it has emerged.
Early last year, Facebook instituted a feature that let people subscribe to others'' feeds without being friends.
A New York Times columnist Nick Bilton said that after the announcement he quickly amassed a healthy "subscriber" list of about 25,000 people.
He started sharing his weekly column with this newfound entourage, and garnered a good response, gaining nearly 400,000 subscribers, and thousands of likes on his posts.
But he pointed out that now, as he shared his column, something different happened, the New York Times reports.
From the four columns he shared in January, he averaged just 30 likes and two shares a post.
He tried a little experiment by giving Facebook seven dollars to promote his column to his friends using the company's sponsored advertising tool.
To his surprise, he got a 1,000 percent increase in the interaction on a link. Facebook proudly informed him in a message that 5.2 times as many people had seen my post because he had paid the company.
According to Bilton, this means Facebook not only promoted his links on news feeds when he paid for them, but also possibly suppressed the ones he did not pay for.
The paper pointed out that Facebook, however, takes a different view, saying that it is still finding the right balance for the algorithm that decides what people see in their news feeds.
First Published: Monday, March 04, 2013, 16:04