Facebook Tests A Paid Messaging System For Contacting Strangers
Ryan Martin / 5 years ago
Facebook has introduced testing for a new system of messaging. The new system, which covers private messages sent to people who are not your friends, adds a variable fee depending on where you live. The system is part of a plan by Facebook to generate extra revenue, no doubt to live up to the financial expectations of Wall Street, but the new system opens the doors to being able to contact celebrities.
In December the plan begun in its early stages and there was a $1 fee for sending messages to strangers which allowed the message to go to their main inbox not their other inbox where it is less likely to be read. That system was just a trial and clearly Facebook felt it successful enough as they are now giving users no choice about it. The free option is being axed and users could have to pay between $1-$15 in the USA or £1-15 in the UK to send one message to someone outside their network. Prices for other countries will vary based on native currency exchange rate versus the dollar.
Facebook is reportedly restricting the larger fees, so $10/£15, for those who want to contact celebrities. They claim it will discourage spam which may indeed prove to be the case, but the fact remains Facebook are looking to cash in on their popularity. The “it’s free and always will be” Facebook slogan is rapidly becoming outdated.
“We are testing a number of price points in the UK and other countries to establish the optimal fee that signals importance,” Facebook said in a statement. “Part of that test involves charging higher amounts for public figures, based on the number of followers they have.”
What do you think about this new move by Facebook? A potential good way to combat spam? Or another sneaky (or not so sneaky) method of extracting revenue from its users?