Facebook may soon make an extra million dollar everyday, as they have deployed a new “experiment” on a small set of users. Starting this week, undisclosed number of Facebook users can send messages to anyone on Facebook without having to befriend them, but it’ll cost money.
To be able to send messages to any unknown person on Facebook, the sender has to deposit money in Facebook’s vault. For every message that reaches the intended receiver’s inbox, the sender will be charged $1. This “Inbox delivery” experiment has been designed to stop spams and promote important messages.
Spammers, who somehow have figured a way out to hijack your friend’s Facebook account, will think twice before sending spam messages. They can send messages, but only after paying Facebook. While this new experiment looks like an open invitation for spammers and marketers to target potential audience on Facebook, the company has put a limit on the number of outgoing messages — users can send a maximum of one message per week.
Previously, users on Facebook were not able to send messages to unknown people — either the message wouldn’t be delivered to the recipient or it would be stockpiled in the “Other” folder. Paying to Facebook routes message to the “inbox” folder.
If you are going to send a message to potential people, say your favorite celebrity, then $1 is not a significant amount. However, as mentioned earlier, stalkers and spammers will have to think twice before sending messages — which is a good thing for the rest of the crowd, as this should leave their inbox clutter-free.
The blog post didn’t uncover the recipe the social networking site uses to differentiate between a spam message and a normal message, but the comprehensive algorithms generated by Facebook engineers over the years should be smart enough to accurately predict the veracity of the message and decide whether the message should be sent or blocked.
Facebook is issuing this feature only to a small set of users in USA. If it works out, then we can expect the company to expand this feature to its international users.