Facebook is considering allowing users to pay $1 to send messages direct to people who are not their friends. A small trial has been set up by the social media site.
Facebook is undertaking a paid for messaging trial in the U.S., according to the BBC. At present the trial is only for a small number of users. The trial is currently limited to one paid for message per week.
In the trial, and if Facebook decides to press ahead with the service, Boston.com notes that users can post messages directly into the inbox of a recipient with whom they are not 'friends'. At present any unsolicited messages are placed in a user's 'Other' folder.
There are several reasons why people may wish to send messages to people that they are not friends and for this Facebook are considering something similar to LinkedIn, although in the case of Facebook it is more likely that the messages will be focused on advertising or messaging 'celebrities'.
Some Facebook users, CNET reports, fear that this will lead to an increase in spamming and are also concerned that Facebook would be storing credit card details. However, Facebook considers that a paid for messaging service will actually decrease the amount of spam. Facebook put this notion forward in statement:
"Several commentators and researchers have noted that imposing a financial cost on the sender may be the most effective way to discourage unwanted messages and facilitate delivery of messages that are relevant and useful.
"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. For the receiver, this test allows them to hear from people who have an important message to send them."