Several media outlets, including the Independent, are reporting the latest shake up from Facebook - charging a fee for sending some messages. However, this is a test, this is only a test - for now anyway. And only a select few, reportedly, are part of the test case. I hope I'm not one!
According to the Independent, a $1 fee is being charged - to the few selected as participants in the test - for sending a message to people who they aren't friends with. The Facebook messaging system reportedly usually deflects unwanted or unsolicited correspondence into a "folder" that can be ignored if the potential recipient so chooses. I guess the $1 will buy a way out of the "ignore" folder and into the recipient's inbox, where they probably can then personally choose to ignore it - or not.
According to the test rules, the users could receive one paid-for message per week, but not more than three a month. People, however, are wary that advertisers will be prepared to pay this low cost and users will begin being bombarded with spam advertising. Others are fearful it is just the beginning of Facebook finding a way to charge all those millions of users for more and more of Facebook's use.
So how do you feel about Facebook charging for this type of message? Have you had occasion to send a private message to a non-friend on Facebook in the past and would you be prepared to pay for the service in future?