As from today, Facebook has announced that it will charge individuals who want guaranteed message delivery especially to individuals they have not connected with. Therefore, if you happen to notice an increase in the number of messages from people you don’t know, you should know that someone is paying to have their messages delivered to you.
Facebook said that it is still testing this service but when completed it will charge a one-time fee of $1 (around 85 shillings) to a user who wants to send a message to a stranger.
At the moment, if someone who is not your friend on Facebook sends you a message, the message will be delivered to you but you may not see it because it is normally dumped in the “Other inbox” folder automatically. On the other hand, if someone pays for this new service, they will have the message bypass this so called “spam folder” and delivered directly to the main inbox.
In order to avoid spamming, Facebook said that users will have a choice of marking the messages in their inbox as spam and thus move them to the “Other inbox” folder. When this happens, the sender will no longer be able to reach the recipients inbox. If the recipient takes no action, the sender can send messages to this recipient for as long as he/she likes.
This move is seen as a desperate attempt by Facebook to find new sources of revenue as the company has only one major revenue source that is profitable but not satisfying to many investors. Facebook sees this move as a way of ensuring only relevant and important messages are sent to users who have not connected on the social site. A similar service is offered by LinkedIn where users with premium accounts can send messages to individuals outside their networks.
According to us, the new campaign by Facebook is not the right move as it has a huge potential of being misused and may facilitate the delivery of spam messages to a number of users. Although it may be used to filter out unwanted messages, advertisers may end up misusing this platform by pushing their campaigns through messages and hence frustrate other users.
So we have to ask, would you pay Facebook to get your message delivered to someone you have not connected with? Tell us in the comments.