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Facebook Testing Pay-To-Message Users

 11:58 pm on Dec 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

Today we’re starting a small experiment to test the usefulness of economic signals to determine relevance. 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.

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 Testing Pay To Message Users [newsroom.fb.com]



 1:03 am on Dec 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

If a stranger has to pay to send me a message it's not one I want to be receiving anyway, I hope they are easily identifiable so that I can delete them as spam efficiently. I'd at least read the message if the money was sent to ME, but that's not what Facebook is doing.


 1:13 am on Dec 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

With Facebook recently changing peoples contact email address to their Facebook email address is this simply not "pay to spam".



 2:07 am on Dec 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

From the article:

This test is designed to address situations where neither social nor algorithmic signals are sufficient. For example, if you want to send a message to someone you heard speak at an event but are not friends with, or if you want to message someone about a job opportunity, you can use this feature to reach their Inbox. For the receiver, this test allows them to hear from people who have an important message to send them.

This message routing feature is only for personal messages between individuals in the U.S. In this test, the number of messages a person can have routed from their Other folder to their Inbox will be limited to a maximum of one per week.

Am I correct in taking this to mean that companies will not be able to pay to spam us, and that only individuals with a self-perceived pressing need to contact me will be able to pay to make their message to me land in my InBox instead of my Other box?


 2:55 am on Dec 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

May also explain why Facebook swapped existing profile email addresses with @facebook.com ones. They really do do seem to think of the long plan.

Surely it can't be to difficult for a user to leave the walls of Facebook, and find a persons email address?



 3:03 am on Dec 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

Facebook switching everyone's email to an "@facebook.com" address happened six months ago, (in June 2012), and was discussed here: [webmasterworld.com...]


 4:48 am on Dec 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

This plan will fail as did the gifts programme Facebook recently discontinued. The Facebook gifts were novelty and some people didn't mind paying $1 to send a small animated GIF to their friends.

Paying to send personal messages alienates not only Facebook users who are forced to pay, but also the users who receive pay-for messages.

If you should be able to contact somebody at some company, university or institute, then you can find a way easily. If not, then you shouldn't be able to "pay to spam" or bug this person.

Since my other half is among a group of experts and advisers to political leaders, I take great offense to this entire concept. (Though good luck finding ANY of them on Facebook, even if they did have accounts).


 12:29 pm on Dec 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

One of the main reasons my phone is becoming unusable is the low cost of calls. So I get regular marketing messages from people abroad selling things or pushing scams, to an extent that was unheard of ten years ago. It's a nuisance that's happening everywhere, and it's blossomed because the only significant cost of doing it is the labour.

So I'm not against this on principle. But like Sgt_Kickaxe I think FB is unwise to take all the money. If they did a revenue share with the recipient they'd get a considerably better reception. Especially if users got to set their own prices.


 2:31 pm on Dec 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

this could be really useful, I would have a special folder for them, call it something like:

Special Promotional Ads and Messages...or just S.P.A.M for short.


 6:03 pm on Dec 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

I got permission to post this link from The Atlantic [theatlantic.com] which goes into a lot more detail about how this new plan is supposed to work, including the cost of US$1 for each Message sent, and that (my comment: at least for now) this new service will not be available to companies.

I've got a childhood friend (my best friend) I've been trying to contact on FB for several months now without a reply, or even an indication he's seen my Message. I suspect that's because the Message is in his Other folder. I'd be willing to spend a buck to ensure my next Message winds up in his InBox.


 10:09 pm on Dec 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

It's sounding more and more like a plan to collect credit card information to me. Even though I doubt they would ever make it available to anyone "your security is our top priority yada yada"... more aggregate data means Facebook can charge advertisers more, and they know it. The more I look at the road Facebook wants to take to get from $4 per user to $100 per user a year the less I like it.


 12:28 am on Dec 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

Not sure about credit cards. Facebook also allow reverse charge sms as a billing method for promoted posts. For a small sum, this would be far more convenient than going through the CC payment procedure.



 1:48 pm on Jan 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

I don't under stand why facebook is not re open the option of sending message to my fans

this is realy worth it and companies will love to pay money to message their fans

ans simply fan can chose not to recieve message from any page he wants

this how facebook can make money, not to pay 1$ to send only one message !


 7:16 pm on Jan 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

It is already allowed, for free. If people have "Liked" your Page and sign up to receive your notifications they will receive them and it costs you nothing. The $1 lets you send it to people who have opted not to receive new status updates from your Page.. so how happy will they be to see that you send them messages anyway?


 8:36 pm on Jan 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

haha, you learn something everyday!
i've been using facebook for 2 years and didn't even know about the 'other box' ... i've just looked at it for the first time just now, i'd not noticed it before.

back on topic, i don't see an issue with the concept of paying to send single messages which is what they are meaning, although i should think it is laying the groundwork for expanding the concept.

i will be in great admiration when facebook really crack how to make money ... i just don't see it at the moment, except by selling personal data, which is going to be rocky ground especially in the EU i think ... i think they'll work out a way i can't see into the future!

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