Facebook has launched a system of charging UK users to send messages to people outside their own network of friends it has emerged.

The social networking giant said the move was designed to cut down the level of spam on the site.

Users looking to message people who are not in their social network, or at least a friend’s network, could have to pay 70p in order to do so. For those looking to message celebrities, this could rise up to as much as £10 or higher.

Facebook had previously experimented with charging people to send messages to celebrities, asking people to cough up more than $100 to message famous people, including Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerburg. The Internet giant soon shelved the idea however.

The company claims the latest money-making scheme has been designed to help users avoid spam and a bombardment of other unwanted messages.

Typically, Facebook has looked to make its revenue through Internet marketing professionals using the site for advertising purposes. This latest step could be the beginning of other ways in which the firm looks to prove to Wall Street it can make money, and plenty of it.

A Facebook spokesman said: “The system of paying to message non-friends in their Facebook inbox is designed to prevent spam, while acknowledging that sometimes you might want to hear from people outside your immediate social circle.

“We are testing a number of price points in the UK and other countries to establish the optimal fee that signals importance. Part of that test involves charging higher amounts for public figures, based on the number of followers they have.

“This is still a test and these prices are not set in stone.”

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About the author:

Martin Boonham is an online copywriter for ClickThrough Marketing, he has worked there since October 2012. He has a Masters in Print Journalism from Nottingham Trent University, where he also gained his NCTJ qualification at the same time; achieving qualifications in subbing, shorthand and media law.