If you thought Facebook advertising couldn't become any more irritating, think again. The world's largest social network is reportedly in the experimental/early testing stages of a new program that would allow users to bypass the default Facebook Messages spam folder when contacting people that they don't know. Currently, when a user or brand attempts to contact someone that they don't know (or hasn't liked/subscribed to them), the messages they send are delivered to the recipient's "Other" folder in their Facebook Messages inbox.
In the updated Facebook Messages system, those users are given a new option. Rather than having their message fall into the user's "Other" folder -- a place that few ever want/remember to check with any regularity -- the group of Facebook users now have an option to spend $1 to have their message delivered straight to the recipient's inbox. And, from the sounds of things, it doesn't matter how high your privacy settings are.
For now, Facebook claims that the $1 fee to send messages straight to a user's inbox will be limited to a single usage each week, and brand's won't have the option of using the new feature just yet. The company also cited unidentified researchers' theories, claiming Facebook's $1 fee could cut down on the number of unwanted messages received each day, as justification for testing out the new program.
The move also comes hot on the heals of Facebook-owned Instagram's own attempts at monetizing users' data, though many will undoubtedly be less angered by the messages than the possibility of having their photos sold without warning/permission. While Instagram has reportedly maintained quite a bit of autonomy since being bought by Facebook earlier this year, we expect to see more than a few comparisons to be drawn between the recent cash grabs in the days ahead.
Unsurprisingly, Facebook users don't seem to be too excited about the new addition to Facebook Messages:
— Amanda Gallucci (@agalluch) December 20, 2012
Dear Facebook: Selling access to our private email is an even worse idea than selling our photos on Instagram. allthingsd.com/20121220/faceb…
— Rick E. Schwartz (@mostlytech1) December 20, 2012
So facebook is now allowing people who aren't your friends to message you for a 1$ fee... Even if you have it set to "just friends"... — katie rena (@_itskatierena) December 20, 2012
— Kevin Everett (@NokiaKnowings) December 20, 2012
Not everyone was angry about the changes though:
— Rob Gura, Salesforce (@texasrob) December 20, 2012
So what do you think of the potential changes to the Facebook Messages system? Would you be willing to pay Facebook's $1 fee if given access to the program?
Let us know in the comments section!