Facebook has subtly begun charging users a hefty fee when sending private high priority messages to high profiled people.
Late last month some UK users were being charged almost 10GBP to send a private message to celebrities or sporting stars. This trial was first rolled out in the states in 2012 in the hope to banish spam from user’s inbox’s.
The trial was launched due to private messages being directed to recipients ‘other’ inbox, rather than the direct inbox. The trial was to help benefit this loss of emails and to make certain they will reach the intended recipient’s prominent inbox. The main intention of the trial was to determine which fee would be suitable across all countries for all users.
Although close friends and acquaintances can communicate with each other under the trial at no charge, the pricing for those that are not considered contacts, could pay a flat rate of 71 Pence ($1.05AUD).
A Facebook representative said the fees will not be trialed in Australia, although many say the social media platform is under pump to exploit new revenue options after placing on the US stock market.
Marketing and brand research firm, IPSOS Australia employee commented on the possibilities of the trial being used in Australia, “… will be met with a fair amount of cynicism and eye rolling from everyday users”. They also implied that this trial is another ploy for Facebook to try and wring money out of everyday users.
Facebook has reassured users it will remain a free social media platform by posting on their homepage “Its free and always will be”.
This new fee is coming off the back of many changes and updates that have altered settings and are impacting and influencing user’s online behavior. With this constant shift and new additions, many Facebook users are finding it hard to keep up with the new functions and concerned about their privacy.
Time will tell to see if a small fee will be charged to privately message those in outer networks and if and how it will impact Facebook’s reputation.