Facebook rolled out a new paid messaging feature late last month that allows British users to message their favorite celebrities for a fee. The paid messaging service was another way for Facebook to generate more revenue, however, it may be crossing a line. The paid messaging service sends your message straight to the celebrities' priority inbox, and the scale of the fee depends on the popularity of the celebrity.
The cheapest celebrity you can message is Dara O'Briain, a comedian and TV game show host, who you can message for 65 pence, or $1.00, which is the same fee if you want to priority message any normal person. The highest fees so far is Tom Daley, an Olympic Diver, Michael Rose, a former children's laureate, and Ed Sheeran's fake account. They cost 10.68 pounds to message, or about $16.38.
This new feature is very similar to the feature it has in America, where users can pay $1, $5, or $15 to send a priority message to someone who isn't on their friend's list. The message is sent to the person's main inbox, instead of being rerouted to their non-priority inbox. This way, the receiver will be notified of the new message. There used to be a $100 fee to send a priority message to a celebrity, but it was cancelled due to people being able to message Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's CEO, himself.
This new feature, if it becomes more widespread, will be a nuisance to celebrities. Having millions of fans being able to directly contact you can get bothersome quickly. All of the priority messaging fees will go to Facebook directly, with the celebrities receiving no benefit from this new feature. On the bright side, at least Facebook is only allowing people who are at least 18-years old to send a priority message, but then again, how hard is it to fake a birthday? In other news, be sure to check out our hands-on with Facebook's new service, Facebook Home, which is set to be released in 3 days.
[via The Sunday Times]