A screenshot of the new filtering options for Facebook Messages.(Photo: Facebook)
Fresh off the uproar from policy updates for photo-sharing service Instagram, owner Facebook revealed its testing an option that charges users a fee to send a message to someone they don't know.
The move is part of a broader plan to tweak filtering options for Facebook Messages and the mobile Facebook Messenger app.
will get two choices for filtering messages: a basic version for
friends or "friends of friends," and a strict option that only allows
Friend messages. All other correspondence will end up in an Other
As part of this, Facebook is experimenting with an option
to pay a small fee to send a message to someone not directly connected
to a user. They say the move would allow important messages to reach
users without inundating them with spam.
"This test is designed to address situations where neither social nor algorithmic signals are sufficient," reads an annoucement from Facebook.
"For example, 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."
The test applies to Facebook
accounts in the U.S. Also, users would only receive a maximum of one of
these paid messages per week.