They're missing the real opportunity here
Message ‘important’ people on Facebook? That’ll be 100 bucks
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They say the idea here is to cut down on spam. If everyone on Facebook can message Mark Zuckerberg all they want, his inbox will be flooded and he’ll never even go near it. So what would be the point?
But if it will cost you a Benjamin, chances are you’ll only send the message if you’ve really got a serious reason for doing so, and you have at least some realistic notion that he might actually respond. It’s not just Facebook executives, either. They’re looking at doing this for anyone with a big enough following that there would be a) the demand for it; and b) the danger of a never-ending flow of messages that make the inbox all but impossible to manage.
For the great unwashed masses, space in your inbox may have monetary value as well (well, for Facebook, not for you), as FB is thinking about charging $1 to message someone who is not on your friend list.
The people in question aren’t your average joes. They are public figures like Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
The world’s biggest social network announced earlier that it is experimenting with adding a $1 charge for Facebook users who message a person who isn’t part of their “friends” network. It said analysts believed the fee could cut down on unwanted messages.
A Facebook spokeswoman said the hefty $100 charge was part of the test.
“We are testing some extreme price points to see what works to filter spam,” Jillian Stefanki, a spokeswoman at Facebook, said in a statement to TheWrap.
I imagine this would probably be pretty effective at cutting down on spam, if that’s the idea. You might spend a buck to message an old friend (then again, why not just send a friend request?) but you’re probably not going to do it to harass some total stranger. The bigger challenge with this idea, it seems to me, is that you’d have to start collecting a lot more credit card information than Facebook collects now. You don’t have to give them credit card information to create an account. I suppose they wouldn’t have to make that a universal requirement, but the first time you wanted to send a pay message you would need to input it.
I also think Facebook is missing the real monetization opportunity here. If they really want to make bank, what they should do is charge men to message good-looking women, or even just to check out their pictures. That’s most of the reason a lot of men are on Facebook in the first place. Someone would have to be put in charge of deciding which women are hot-looking enough to warrant the charge. Maybe there could be different price levels for cute, hot and super hot. Believe me, a lot of dudes would pay. Not me. I’m married. But I’m not so sure about you.
Rob suggests they could also make money charging women to message each other, but what does Rob know about women?