Facebook is testing a new feature that will allow some users to send messages to people they aren’t friends with. It may not sound like a big deal initially until you realize that the social network will be charging for the convenience – or inconvenience, depending on how you see it.
It’s the latest in Facebook’s continued campaign to generate additional revenue streams which, if nothing else, will make investors happy. As recently noted on the official Facebook blog, a select number of users now have the option to pay to have a message routed to a non-friend’s inbox.
Up to this point, Facebook has used social signals such as friend connections and algorithms to identify spam and determine relevance. Messages determined to be less relevant would usually end up in the “other” folder and thus, often overlooked.
Users interested in sending an “unsolicited” message will be charged $1 per person it’s sent to. It could be a worthy investment if you’re trying to get in touch with someone you might not otherwise have access too but at the same time, those $1 fees could add up quickly if you plan to send out a lot of messages.
As CNET points out, Facebook has a wealth of user data but very few credit cards on file. New features like promoted photos / posts, gifts and now this will certainly help the social network collect more credit card information. The only question that remains is, how badly do you want to reach out and speak to someone?
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