Facebook is reportedly testing a new messaging system that would allow members to contact strangers for a small fee.
“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,” Facebook noted in a recent statement.
Right now, the system is limited to a small percentage of Facebook users in the U.S.
According to Facebook, the system would offer its many members some significant benefits. Most importantly, it would discourage advertisers from creating fake log ins and spamming users by placing a $1 fee on every message sent.
Of course, it’s not guaranteed that the $1 fee will discourage this kind of activity. In fact, the only thing that is guaranteed is that Facebook will profit handsomely from companies that have deep enough pockets to pay the fee.
Facebook provided some examples of where this kind of system would be beneficial:
“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’s important to remember that, at the moment, everything about this idea remains experimental. In fact, Facebook says it hasn’t even settled on the fee for such a service.
Clearly, this tactic represents yet another attempt by Facebook to monetize its services, thereby giving investors some reason to help revitalize the company’s flagging stock.