Facebook Seeks to Build Investor Confidence by Charging Users $1 to Send Higher Visibility Messages

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28 February 2013,
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Facebook announced on Thursday that they will begin testing a different way of sending messages for people who need to reach outside of their circle of friends. The company intends to give users the ability to contact other people that they normally would have a much more difficult time doing so by allowing them to broadcast important messages for a payment of $1.

Experts in the field of social networking have cited that adding a financial cost to sending messages can be viewed as a move to cut down on the amount of unwanted messages users receive while forcing users interested in reaching more people with their messages to evaluate how effective their messages are.

This can also provide users of the social networking website with a better alternative to the current system that allows users to send messages to people outside their contacts into the “Other” folder, which many users appear to neglect.

The system is slated to allow any message to be sent directly to a user’s inbox for just $1 per message.

Facebook has outlined that this fee is subject to change. This means that the price could go lower or higher depending on any number of factors as Facebook further develops this paid way to get the message out.

Users may even see a system similar to the one already in place for promoting posts or advertising through Facebook’s built-in ad network.

The difference between this method of contacting people and the type set in place for businesses is that only individuals would be allowed to use this system. That means massive brands with millions of followers like Pepsi and Wal-Mart wouldn’t be allowed to use this system to send bulk messages.

Right now, this system is in its very early stages of testing. Facebook has mentioned that they are putting heavy limits on this system while it is tested. This includes restricting who can send messages to a very small group of people located in the United States and putting a hard cap of one message per week that users from this route of messaging.

This system comes only a few months after Facebook began experimenting with promoted posts, which are posts that allow users to pay $7 to increase the visibility of their posts. Promoted posts, similar to how this system of paid messages is proposed to work, are focused on increasing the reach of a message to people outside of a user’s direct social circle.

Facebook is actively experimenting with different methods to allow online advertisers to reach new demographics using the social networking website that has one billion active users each month. These opportunities are meant to bolster investor confidence in Facebook, whose stock shares dropped to $20 shortly after going public at $38 per share in May.

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