Photo: Jay Yarow
Facebook is testing a new system that would allow strangers to pay $1 to send you a message and have it land in your Facebook inbox.If this sounds a bit odd, that’s because it is. But that doesn’t necessarily make it a bad thing.
Previously strangers could send you a message for free. It would generally land in the “other” category of your messages inbox.
To prevent people from getting a lot of messages from random folks, Facebook is going to test out charging $1 to let someone send you a message. The idea is that if it’s important, then someone will pay $1. If it’s not that important, then they’ll skip the message, which makes your inbox less cluttered.
Some people will think this is Facebook trying to find a new way to make money. We do not. We doubt it’s going to generate much, if any revenue. The only dubious, conspiratorial business reason we can see for this is that Facebook would presumably get more users to punch in their credit card numbers which could be helpful down the road. But, that’s just a dubious conspiracy.
It seems like Facebook is just trying to figure out a better way to manage your inbox.
To that end, it’s also rolling out new inbox filtering options.
There is “basic filtering,” which according to Facebook means, “you’ll see mostly messages from friends and people you may know (for example, friends of friends) in your Inbox. People who had the previous setting set to ‘friends of friends’ or ‘everyone’ will have Basic Filtering on.”
And then there is “strict filtering,” which means, “you’ll see mostly messages from friends in your Inbox. People who had the previous setting set to ‘friends’ will have ‘Strict Filtering’ on,” according to Facebook.