Facebook proves once again that they can make the most underhanded actions seem like they are doing a favor for their users by testing a new feature: pay $1 to send a message to users with whom you’re not connected on the socia media site, in the name of reducing spam.
In a move that they are claiming is to stop spam, they are testing a new system that will charge users $1 to send a message to those with whom they’re not friends. But it really seems that they just needed another way to monetize their users.
Said Facebook in a statement, “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.”
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As it stands now, users have an “Others” folder in their “Inbox” and if they receive a message from a sender who they do not know, it is automatically filed away in the “Others” folder. While the company claims that this new test fee is to get only relevant messages to the inbox, that seems to be counter to the system that they already have in place, since non-friends already go to the “Others” file. So essentially, any advertiser willing to spend $1 would be able to spam your Facebook Inbox.
It is true that Facebook allows anybody to send you a message right now, for free, so it is possible that the fee could reduce the number of blatant spam, but let’s be honest, Facebook could have handled the spam issue in any number of ways that don’t include a fee. Given that this is right on the heels of their Instagram debacle, it seems as if they are getting more and more desperate to find ways to monetize their users to make their shareholders apply.
Additionally, Facebook will also be limiting the number of messages that users can send from their from their “Other” folder to their “Inbox” to just one a week. For user protection, of course.
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