As a brand, you’re continuously competing with personal updates for News Feed presence. Promoted Posts offered you an advantage, but today Facebook has leveled the playing field.

The social network announced that it’s expanding this feature to individuals in the U.S. who can now pay to promote their personal posts within News Feeds.

According to Facebook, unpromoted posts are typically only seen by 12-16 percent of friends — similar to Pages, where average posts reach only 17 percent of fans. By paying to promote them, not only do posts appear higher in News Feeds, but also to a larger audience.

Originally called “highlight,” Facebook began testing this feature in New Zealand in May. Since then Promoted Posts has been rolled out to 20 other countries. Now it’s being tested in the U.S. with people who have less than 5,000 total friends and subscribers.

Facebook hopes that members will use this to promote garage sales, events, wedding photos, and other important announcements. However, it all depends on how people define “important.” After a post has been promoted, it will be marked “Sponsored.”

While the expansion suggests tests in other countries went well, it will be interesting to see how members use this feature, and whether it will be abused. The best thing for brands to do right now is to continue sharing great, original content. You can also promote your Page, posts, and events with other Facebook advertising formats.

[Via: TechCrunch, Image credit: Mykl Roventine]