Facebook Introduces Action Spec Preview Tool to Preview Sponsored Stories; Pay to "Highlight" Your Status Updates; File Sharing to All Groups

Until now, File sharing was available for Facebook's Groups for Schools, now the comapny has started rolling out an update to its "Groups" that will allow group members to share files with one another. The features currently available to few, will offered to all groups in the next few days. According to Mashable's Kate Freeman, […]

Until now, File sharing was available for Facebook's Groups for Schools, now the comapny has started rolling out an update to its "Groups" that will allow group members to share files with one another. The features currently available to few, will offered to all groups in the next few days.

According to Mashable's Kate Freeman, Facebbok informed her that groups that don't yet have the file sharing abilities will get it "soon."

With this feature group member will be able to upload files up to 25MB in size, although certain files will not be allowed to upload on the service and include: the music and executables files. Additionally, users will have the ability to report questionable files just as they would other content, such as photos, in Facebook.

Group members will have a new option when posting content, "Upload File," which will allow them to share a file and leave an attached comment -- as shown in the picture below.

Facebook Groups Adds File Sharing feature

In other Facebook news, Facebook is testing a new option called "Highlight" that lets you pay a few dollars to have one of your posts appear to more friends. The feature was uncovered by Stuff, where a Facebook user in Whangarei, New Zealand accidentally found the feature while using Facebook. Apparently, she originally thought it was a scam, but Facebook has confirmed that it is a new feature in testing.

A spokesperson for Facebook said that they are "constantly testing new features across the site. This particular test is simply to gauge people's interest in this method of sharing with their friends" and that they are trialling different price points, including offering the feature for free to see if users will use it.

Facebook Highlight Feature

How Highlight Works?

If you're in the test group and post a status update, you'll see the "Highlight" option next to the Like and comment buttons below it. If clicked you're shown the prompt above. Depending on what version of the test you're seeing you'll either get a free Highlight, or have to pay a dollar or two for the extra news feed prevalence. Facebook's testing different price points, but users always pay with a credit card or PayPal, never with its virtual currency Credits.

Highlighted posts may appear higher in the news feed, stay visible for longer, and appear to more friends and subscribers. Highlight lets the average user, not Pages or businesses, select an "important post" and "make sure friends see this", but not color it yellow as Stuff wrote.

Once paid, the feature simply moves the users status higher up the news feed or picture posts and makes them remain higher in the news feed for longer.

And to be clear, this is not like Twitter's Promoted Tweets which is designed for businesses. Facebook Highlight is for the end-user.

Finally, Facebook today launched a new "action spec preview tool" that helps you discover and visualize stories to sponsor, size the opportunity for a story, and discover alternate action specs all within a simple, visual interface.

Facebook Action Spec Preview Tool for sponsored stories

"The preview tool will now allow you to use the action spec to see how stories from your page or app will appear when sponsored. The action spec allows you to create sponsored stories, target audiences and measure actions using Graph actions. The action spec preview tool provides a simple way to visualize any story defined by an action spec as a sponsored story," posted Gokhan Caglar.

Facebook is providing following methods to preview sponsored stories with action spec preview tool:

Using the drop down menu to preview recent stories from your news feed or Page(s) you manage or like. "The preview tool will display how sponsored stories will be seen by users in the news feed and right hand side of any page on Facebook. For Open Graph actions, the tool will also display the various selectors (action type and properties of the object) associated with the action spec to enable you to experiment with different combinations and specify the exact action spec you are interested in using," explains Caglar.

Facebook Action Spec Preview Tool on news feeds or pages

Using the action spec for any story on the Graph that you would like to preview. In addition to displaying how sponsored stories will be presented and the various selectors associated with the action spec, the tool will also provide the approximate number of actions, actors and actor's friends within the last week that match the spec.

Discover and visualize stories from your timeline. Once you select your timeline in the dropdown menu of the preview tool, the tool will display that story as a sponsored story in the right hand side or in the news feed.

Facebook Action Spec Preview Tool on Timeline

Experimenting with selectors: Action spec preview tool displays the various selectors (action type and properties of the object) associated with the action spec, which enables you to create different types of stories. "To view stories about users listening to songs by Michael Jackson, click on the song.musician link and, the Tool will display the action spec and a sample of real stories that match the spec," Caglar adds.

To start creating your own sponsored stories, go here, o if you are a API developer, go to this page.

Watch this video to see action preview tool in action: