In a response to investors clamoring for new revenue streams, Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) today announced that it would begin to charge businesses for posting offers to consumers. Until now, businesses have been able to make offers to Facebook users who just clicked the ‘Like’ button on the firm’s business page.
Facebook did not specify the price of its new Facebook Offers program, but did say that the minimum charge would be $5, likely only to apply to small companies chasing a small number of Facebook users. Facebook will also allow advertisers to include barcodes in the Offers, which helps the ad buyers track the effectiveness of the advertising.
This is very likely to be the first of many changes to Facebook’s policy of treating businesses in the same way as they treated people. Before, everything was free to everyone, business and individual alike. But as the company seeks to beef up its revenues, it will have to go where the money is — businesses.
Facebook’s shares lost about 3% today to close at $22.59. Shares are up about 1% in after-hours trading at $22.61. The stock’s post-IPO range is $17.55 to $45.00.