If Facebook has its way, you'll soon have to shell out money to contact celebrities or people who are not in your friend circle. Facebook is currently testing an option that lets you pay a fee to contact celebrities and people with a large number of followers. The website has already started charging its British users as much as £10 to send a message to celebrities or people not in users' friend circles.
According to a report by Sunday Times, Facebook is testing a sliding scale system wherein the fees will vary based on how popular the system perceives the recipient of a message to be. Essentially, Facebook has created a sliding fee system based on the popularity of the recipient. Tom Daley, Olympic diver and Ed Sheeran, singer and songwriter’s profiles command the highest amounts of £10.68 as of now. Snoop Dogg comes in second with a fee of £10.08.
However, Facebook is promising that once you choose to message a celebrity and have paid the fee, your message will land in their inbox and they will receive a notification about it. In December last year, Facebook started testing a feature to let people you do not know message you for $1.
Would you pay money to message a celebrity? (Background Image Credit: Getty Images)
Calling it a “small experiment”, Facebook says it is evaluating the “usefulness of economic signals” to determine what messages would be relevant to a user if the sender is a stranger. “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,” the post said.
Facebook also added a couple of examples to show where this feature could come in handy. “This test is designed to address situations where neither social nor algorithmic signals are sufficient,” the post said. “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,” it explained.
After a “successful” trial in the US, Facebook has decided to expand this feature not only geographically, but also in terms of adding celebrities to the field. Interestingly, this is not the first time Facebook is getting users to message celebrities for a fee. Earlier this year, the company introduced a feature that let users message site creator Mark Zuckerberg for a whopping $100. The message would end up in Zuckerberg’s inbox and not his Other folder.
Facebook said in a statement: “The system of paying to message non-friends in their inbox is designed to prevent spam while acknowledging that sometimes you might want to hear from people outside your immediate social circle. We are testing a number of price points in the UK and other countries to establish the optimal fee that signals importance.”
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