A site called TheHollywoodGossip.com posted a short, vacuous story with a purloined personal pic under the headline, "Miley Cyrus Pantless Pheed Pic: Boo!"
What's happening here is that Cyrus is exploiting the gossip site's exploitation of Cyrus. The site is driving traffic to Cyrus's Pheed profile, which I assume Cyrus will charge fans to subscribe to in the future.
This will become the whole business model for the likes of Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton, who are famous for being famous and want to convert their fame into an additional revenue stream. Pheed now enables them to sell prurient glimpses of their glamorous and scantily clad lives directly to the public.
The monetization scheme, in a nutshell, transforms what a social network is, from the public square to the shameless celebrity red light district and freak show.
Facebook has been trying to monetize its social site in a variety of creative ways since going public May 17.
Earlier this month, Facebook began testing in the U.S. a service that allows everyday users to pay a small fee to have a post "highlighted," which means placed big and prominent on their friends' news feeds. It's glued to the top and, unlike other posts, doesn't go down right away to make room for new posts.
That sounds reasonable, until you consider that Facebook actively prevents most of your friends from seeing your posts on their news feeds. They use an algorithm called EdgeRank, which judges how close you are with each of your friends based on how much activity you each have on the other's profiles, then delivers the posts only to people Facebook software decides should see it.
Each of your posts on Facebook is blocked from appearing on an unknown majority of your friends' News Feeds.
Facebook "tweaks" this algorithm constantly.
So what Facebook is doing is blocking your posts on the one hand and charging you to deliver them on the other.
It's possible that Facebook could reduce the percentage delivered in order to add incentive for paid delivery -- essentially fabricating demand. They've been accused of doing so for business Pages, and with some good evidence.
On Sept. 20, Facebook changed its EdgeRank algorithm to deliver a smaller percentage of posts by business Pages, according to an analysis by the advertising, marketing and public relations firm Ogilvy & Mather.