Facebook is testing out yet another new "feature" that will let strangers send messages to your inbox for one dollar, and as far as I can tell, it's just the start of a slippery slope that will eventually turn your Facebook inbox into a hotbed of spam. Normally messages from people who aren't friends wind up in the "other" folder in your Facebook messages. (Did you even know you had one of those?) But now, you can pay to make sure your message goes to that stranger's actual inbox.
Why does Facebook think people will want this?
"For example, 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," Facebook said. "For the receiver, this test allows them to hear from people who have an important message to send them." (Important to whom, I ask?)
Facebook says this is being tested with individuals, not businesses or brands, but I can't imagine that will take long if it's at all successful. I can't think of any situation in which I'd pay a dollar to send someone a message. How hard is it to find them on LinkedIn or some other network and contact them that way? I can't see actual people paying to send messages.
Companies though? I can see companies being willing to spend A LOT of money on making sure you get tailored messages in your Facebook inbox, and that's going to be super annoying. Facebook is already becoming too spammy in my news feed. Do I want advertising and marketing in my inbox too? Heck no!
Part of becoming a public company means Facebook has to find ways to make money. I get that. But by selling us to advertisers and marketers, Facebook is becoming more and more of a pest, and less interesting to use.
Would you pay a dollar to send a message to someone you didn't know on Facebook?
Image via Jami3.org/Flickr