The Mad Genius says: No.

Facebook is free, will remain free, and – on both personal pages and business pages – simply making posts to a page will also remain free. However, here’s the real scoop about how Facebook hopes to further monetize the social network.

Different Types of Facebook Users – Same Challenge

Facebook has two primary types of users:

  • Individual users (personal pages)
  • Brands (companies, institutions, organizations, or artists, bands and public figures)

While each of these distinct groups use Facebook differently, there is one thing they have in common.

Standard Posts Only Reach 12 – 16% People

As it stands now, when a post is made on Facebook, only an average of 12%-16% of people see that post in their news feed at any given time. Statistics fluctuate, but this limited visibility of each individual post is true for both personal and business pages.

Paying For Guaranteed Reach

Social-savvy brands have already been using a feature on Facebook that enables them to feature and promote certain posts so they are seen by more people. Last week, Facebook announced that the same tool will soon be made available to individual users of personal pages on Facebook. The functionality and behavior of this feature will be the same for both personal and business pages.

Currently, on brand pages, once a post is made to the page, administrators and page managers can choose to promote a specific post by clicking on the ‘Promote’ button in the lower-right area of the post.

The cost for promoting a featured post varies depending upon how prolific a person wants to extend that post’s reach. Just as with the dashboard that drives the Facebook ad engine for businesses and brands, Facebook’s ‘Promote-a-post’ feature generates an estimated reach based upon the selected audience and the amount a person wants to spend.

So, what is the rationale for promoting a post in the first place?

Naturally, the reason for promoting a featured post will be different for individual users than for brands.

Brands are promoting products, a service, a cause, or a campaign. What specific kinds of posts individual users of Facebook may choose to promote remains to be seen, but one thing is for certain; whether spreading news about a yard sale, or an event, when an individual user of Facebook wants a specific post to be more widely seen by their friends (or the friends list of their friends), they will have to pay to promote that post just like brands.