Testing “extreme price points” in a potential paid messaging service, Facebook offered to send messages directly to CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s inbox for $100, Mashable was the first to notice. The company is considering allowing users to pay to send messages to people who are not their friends that would go directly to the inbox, with the high fee designed to operate as its own spam filter.
Unpaid messages would end up in Zuckerberg’s “other” folder, which Facebook describes as “the place ‘where less relevant messages go,’” while paid messages go directly to the inbox.
“Today we’re starting a small experiment to test the usefulness of economic signals to determine relevance,” Facebook said in a statement. “This test will give a small number of people the option to pay to have a message routed to the Inbox rather than the Other folder of a recipient that they are not connected with.”
Last December, Facebook first suggested the idea of a paid message service in which users could pay a small fee to message people they were not friends with, with $1 as the starting fee.
Rather than being purely a revenue generator, charging for the service is designed to cut down on spam, Facebook indicated.
“Several commentators and researchers have noted that imposing a financial cost on the sender may be the most effective way to discourage unwanted messages and facilitate delivery of messages that are relevant and useful,” Facebook said in a post.
Facebook did not give a deadline to how long it would be conducting the tests, nor did it indicate on the likelihood of a permanent service resulting from the tests.
It also did not indicate of the person receiving the message would get a cut of the fee that would be charged.