How much would you pay to message Mark Zuckerburg?
If your answer is any less than $100, you don't stand a chance of reaching the reclusive founder of the largest social media network of the world.
Facebook is reportedly charging its users $100 to message Mark Zuckerberg directly via his Facebook messages inbox. The $100 would, in essence, guarantee that the message would end up in his main messages inbox on Facebook rather than the "Other" inbox typically reserved for people that you're not connected to.
"In our tests from multiple accounts, it appeared to be the case that users only get this message if they're not one of Zuck's 16 million followers. That, however, could still be coincidental," reports Mashable, which discovered the trick on Thursday.
The $100 Facebook messaging charge was part of a test according to company spokespeople. "We are testing some extreme price points to see what works to filter spam," said a Facebook spokesperson according to the Telegraph. Facebook has not disclosed how many VIPs are a part of the program, but they did say that the participating VIPS will receive one message from a stranger to their main inbox each week.
In leiu of the $100 fee, users can still send their messages, although it will end up in the "other" messages inbox on Facebook. The "other" inbox is basically the equivalent of a spam email folder, since its primary objective is to sift through the irrelevant or unimportant message commonly sent. Facebook users don't check their "other" inbox nearly as often as the main inbox, which means that messages re much more likely to be lost over time -- again, much like an email spam folder.
Many were shocked when the $100 Facebook messaging test program was initially reported. Facebook was initially only going to charge $1 to message people that weren't in a users' network. Since the time the $1 charge was announced, which was only a few weeks ago, the messaging tax has apparently grown 100 times in size.
"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," Facebook initially said.
Charging for messages sent outside of a users' network is just the latest attempt form Facebook to generate a greater revenue. Last year, Facebook spent most of its time on the public market in flotation. The $100 price tag tacked onto messages to celebrities is one of many ways Facebook is looking to increase its revenue.