April 8, 2013Published by: Drew Benvie

Facebook puts a price on your inbox (probably 71p)

Facebook has begun rolling out a fee for UK users to allow you to send messages to people outside of your circle of friends. The standard charge is £0.71 to contact someone you are not friends with, but reports in the media state that the cost goes up to £10.68 to contact celebrities such as Tom Daley.

This is a trial that started in the US at the end of 2012 and has just rolled out to 36 new countries. The price of the message rises down to couple of factors: the person you're after's number of followers, and an algorithm-based fame factor. Previously messaging strangers was possible for free, depending on security settings, but messages would be stored away from the recipient's inbox in an 'other' box. Effectively Facebook is putting a price on direct access to an influencer's inbox.

This may begin to change the workloads of the celebrities whose social media profiles require ever growing amounts of management time, but also changes will begin to happen for brands too. The closer Facebook gets to Twitter, where direct access to influencers is easier to manage, the more opportunities that will lie ahead for more open, social dialogue online.

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