Facebook tests steep fees to message strangers (Update)

Jan 11, 2013
Facebook confirmed it was dabbling with charging members as much as $100 to get messages to the inboxes of strangers such as social network co-founder and chief Mark Zuckerberg.

Facebook confirmed Friday it was dabbling with charging members as much as $100 to get messages to the inboxes of strangers such as social network co-founder and chief Mark Zuckerberg.

"We are testing some extreme price points to see what works to filter spam," Facebook said in response to an AFP inquiry regarding the costly delivery fees.

In December, Facebook began testing the feasibility of charging to guarantee that messages from strangers make it into inboxes of intended recipients.

At its launch, the Facebook Messages test, limited to the United States, let a sender pay a dollar to make sure an electronic missive is routed to someone's "inbox" even when the person is not in their circle of friends.

In a spin revealed by Mashable and other technology news websites, the test includes evaluating whether ratcheting up delivery prices for high-profile members such as Zuckerberg helps ensure that only messages truly of interest get to inboxes.

The Facebook messaging system was billed as being designed to deflect seemingly unwanted correspondence into an "other" folder that can be ignored.

Facebook said it wanted to determine whether adding a "financial signal" improves its formula for delivering "relevant and useful" messages to members' inboxes.

Facebook already uses social cues, such as connections between friends, and algorithms that identify spam messages.

Dabbling with getting people to pay to connect with Facebook members comes as the social network strives to tap the potential to make money from its membership base of more than a billion people.

Facebook stock has been climbing since the end of last year and was trading at $31.72 a share on the Nasdaq exchange at the closing bell on Friday.

Explore further: Study: Social media users shy away from opinions

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rc_yvr
not rated yet Jan 11, 2013
In a related story, frost was recently seen on the outskirts of Hell.
sirchick
not rated yet Jan 11, 2013
What possible thing could a random user have to say to Mark Zuckerberg that is so important.
Nexus789
1.5 / 5 (2) Jan 11, 2013
Facebook are toast. Their business model is pointless, the 'social graph' childish and the business model cannot be monetised.

All this is paid for spam and smacks of desperation. No one with half a brain would want to get unsolicited messages where 99.9999% of them would be intrusive.

As for writing to Zucker whatever his name is I'll leave that to the world's pointless band of sycophants as there are a lot of them. So he will get lots of pointless messages that will be handled by his minders.
weezilla
not rated yet Jan 11, 2013
Nexus789, financial stigma is a good way to keep people from doing things. If that lets someone send a message to someone big (maybe a plea or an idea to Zuckerberg, or someone else famous), then let it be. It gives facebook a profit point, and adds controlled functionality.

As for facebook's business model, as long as they don't screw things up and go down in the next 20 years, they're going to have a very real and very profitable business model by that point. I don't care what they make now, but I know they have a strong potential value in the near future when google glasses and other similar integrating technologies become ubiquitous. They have something used daily by most people, and there's almost no limit to that value (especially when it becomes thoughtless to pay small fees for things online).
dav_daddy
1 / 5 (1) Jan 11, 2013
Agreed weezilla, Facebook is for all intents and purposes "the Internet" for a very, very large and growing number of people. So long as they don't do something really historically stupid that happens to turn off the Joe-Q-Users of the world then the money is there.

They will figure out how to monetize all those sets of eyes that spend hours and days on their site. With the size of the audience they command I wouldn't be in any particular hurry if I were Zuck.
robbor
not rated yet Jan 12, 2013
seems there's no ceiling to the amount of riches Zuckerberg desires.
Meyer
not rated yet Jan 12, 2013
Other than the occasional random friend request, I have never received an unsolicited message on Facebook. Is this an issue for more than 0.001% of users? The "spam" I experience is from just about everything else my friends do on the site EXCEPT private messaging.
krundoloss
1 / 5 (1) Jan 12, 2013
I find that there is no reason for adult men to use facebook. The only reason I have ever seen an adult male use facebook was to try to hook up with a women. Facebook is for kids and women! They need to find a valid reason for men to use facebook, then they can have an even larger market!
loneislander
not rated yet Jan 12, 2013
While running my own ISP I toyed with the idea of letting everyone set a price on their own inbox (auto-responder would give user chosen quantity of "stamps" to any new addressor a user chosen number of times) and let them keep the money.

I'm retired now and playing in my woodshop but I think this is an idea for the ages. And then let me do it with my phone number and then "frig off annoying idiots who prey on the margins of others' comfort -for f'n profit!".
BSD
1 / 5 (2) Jan 13, 2013
seems there's no ceiling to the amount of riches Zuckerberg desires.


Don't forget his legion of shareholders he has to appease.
pS x Butters
not rated yet Jan 14, 2013
"I find that there is no reason for adult men to use facebook. The only reason I have ever seen an adult male use facebook was to try to hook up with a women. Facebook is for kids and women! They need to find a valid reason for men to use facebook, then they can have an even larger market!"

Krundoloss, if you actually know anything about Facebook, you would know that it is intended for networking and as a means of people to be able to stay in touch with friends and colleagues that they cannot see or talk to regularly. Just because the minority are using it for an unintended purpose does not mean that there is not a valid reason for the majority. If that was so, no one in the world would be able to use the internet.