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Facebook Experiments with $1 Fee For Inbox Access

What’s the benefit of being the planet’s biggest social media site if you can’t use it to make money? That’s the question Facebook is constantly grappling with, and this week it came up with a new revenue solution: Charge the public a dollar per email to send messages to the inboxes of people who aren’t your friends.

Yes, you read that correctly. Apparently Facebook thinks that what’s most missing from our Facebook experience is the ability receive random messages in our inbox from strangers. So for those Facebook trolls out there who send all those “you look hot” messages to pretty women whose pictures they stumble across, Facebook is going to charge you a dollar to get even more direct access to her inbox.

Perhaps you weren’t even aware, but since 2011 Facebook has been routing messages that you receive from people you most likely don’t know to an “other” folder, which most people ignore. Now, Facebook will give users the power to route these messages to non-friends into their inbox. It is testing the service with a small percentage of users—and it will not open the service to businesses—and it will limit the service to one message per week.

“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,” Facebook said in an online post. “For the receiver, this test allows them to hear from people who have an important message to send them.”

Facebook believes charging for messages could help discourage spammers.

The service is similar to one that currently is available on LinkedIn, called InMail, which costs money to send and supposedly lends the message extra credibility for that reason.



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