Facebook has done it again! A new tweak to the message feature on the social networking website will mean people you do not know will be able to send you a message directly to your inbox for $1 only.

Calling it a ‘small experiment’ in a blog post, Facebook said it will be 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.

Don't be alarmed if you find messages from strangers in your inbox!

Don't be alarmed if you find messages from strangers in your inbox!

The social networking giant seem to be trying to tighten the user’s privacy with this feature that can easily be misused. The charging for message feature is now being tested and as of now only individuals living in the United States will be able to send each other personal messages. Brands will not be able to use this feature as yet, to message potential customers or connections. During the test, the number of messages a person can have routed from their Other folder to their Inbox will be limited to a maximum of one per week, said Facebook.

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,” asserted Facebook in the blog.

The blog also announced that Facebook was making inbox filtering more stringent with new filters. Choosing between Basic and Strict filters will determine whether mails you receive from friends of friends or someone who has your @facebook.com email id will be visible in the inbox or the ‘Other’ folder.

Added to this filter are chats and mails received from Facebook Messenger from Android contacts too. Say a friend who isn’t on Facebook but uses the Android messenger sends you a mail, you can determine if it goes into your inbox or not. This feature was rolled out to Android users in early December where users only needed a phone number and name to communicate with Facebook users.

The app now embraces a wider user base by removing the necessity to be a Facebook member to use the messenger service. It could help in enticing more non-members to use Facebook services while giving existing users a bonus by letting them chat with friends who are not on the social networking website. 

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