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Facebook Testing $100 Fee To Mail Mark Zuckerberg 228

Posted by samzenpus
from the cost-of-sending-messages dept.
iComp writes with a story about how it will cost you $100 to message Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook. "Got something you'd like to say to Mark Zuckerberg? The Facebook CEO still maintains a profile on the social networking site he founded, but beginning on Friday, sending him a personal message could cost you. Mashable was the first to notice that some users who weren't otherwise on the Behoodied One's Friends list were being asked to pony up before they could send a message to his Inbox, to the tune of $100 a pop. As El Reg reported in December, Facebook has been conducting a limited test of a feature that requires users to pay a fee to send messages to people with whom they have no direct connection. The idea is that the type of users who like to send spam, hate speech, and otherwise frivolous messages typically aren't willing to pay for the privilege. Impose a fee – however small – and they probably won't bother."
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Facebook Testing $100 Fee To Mail Mark Zuckerberg

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 13, 2013 @04:01PM (#42576395)

    It's his company, so any money made benefits him, but when they start selling access to other people without them making anything, it just doesn't work. Now, perhaps if they allowed people to sign up for this service, and do something like Apple where there's a 70/30 split, then maybe you have a recipe for success.

  • Beautiful (Score:1, Interesting)

    by tanujt (1909206) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @04:07PM (#42576431)
    Next up: Want to say something against the current establishment in your daily status updates? Just pay $1.59* and exercise your right to free speech!

    *A small fee to cover the overhead to Facebook, Inc. for licking your local congressman's ass to compensate for your brazen use of the First Amendment.
  • by Lieutenant_Dan (583843) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @04:08PM (#42576445) Homepage Journal

    When you scramble to monetize your product by pimping off your CEO you know it's downhill from here on.

    Next:
    - for 5 euros they will attach the head of one of your friends on a porn star
    - charge 1 cent every time you use your FB login with another site
    - charge $5 to add 50 new friends for the socially inept or people you need to get that extra mile
    - for $1,000 bump someone off FB with the same name and get exclusive rights for 12 months
    - $5 for audio greetings, $10 for video
    -$1 to send a text message

  • Re:Laugh (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 13, 2013 @04:23PM (#42576567)

    I deleted my account in 2008, which I only held for about a week. Following the correct procedure at the time, it wasn't easy to deactivate and delete then, but I did manage it.

    A friend recently informed me my account is appearing on his profile again.

  • by Lumpy (12016) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @04:43PM (#42576681) Homepage

    Certified mail is a lot cheaper and will get his attention faster than someone paying $100 so his personal assistant will see the message.

  • by flimflammer (956759) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @04:50PM (#42576735)

    Reminds me of the diamond ring item in Team Fortress 2. Costs a hundred bucks and when you uses it you essentially propose to another player in front of everyone logged in. To this day (like a year or more after inception) you still see people using it for memes or general trolling and what have you.

  • by JoeyRox (2711699) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @05:03PM (#42576789)
    The real purpose of the $100 fee to Zuckerberg is only to draw free press to Facebook's paid spam service, where they'll allow companies to send you unsolicited emails that bypass spam filters in exchange for a fee. Without the fee Facebook says those messages go into the the "other" folder; with the fee the messages will go directly to the inbox. It's reprehensible, and Facebook has the nerve to claim the purpose of the fee is to reduce spam. The real purpose is to eliminate free spam.
  • Check your apps (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Hotawa Hawk-eye (976755) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @05:24PM (#42576913)

    If Facebook will split this fee with the recipients, check your apps. How many of them have requested (and been granted) permission to send messages on your behalf? Could those apps send messages to persons not on your friends list (say the author of the app) and automatically accept the charge? If they can't now, how long before someone unscrupulous hacks it so it is possible and packages that up into a Farmville clone?

  • by big_e_1977 (2012512) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @05:34PM (#42576955)

    I would be willing to pay $100 dollars for a permanent media blackout so I will never have to hear about Mark Zuckerberg ever again. The only thing I might miss is a future story where he gets convicted by the feds for insider trading and fraud. But this is America were corporations and CEOs are effectively exempt from all laws so such an event ever occurring is slim.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 13, 2013 @06:42PM (#42577367)

    That would be nice but it wouldn't be Facebook. At Facebook you are the product, you always have been, and you likely always will be.

    A system which enabled people to be reimbursed for data aggregation and marketing based on their personal data may be possible with a distributed social network with PGP under the hood (uses have responsibility to protect their own private keys but they can pass this responsibility on to a business of their choosing and pay a tiny fee). I've not kept up with such projects but maybe FOAF would do. For sending money in such an environment, Ripple may be the best fit, but given the current state of the project and the questionable social connectedness of a data aggregation company it would be unwise to completely ignore Bitcoin. One bonus in using these technologies is that the annoying requirement of needing to secure ones private keys neatly overlaps with the same requirement of the social network. A client would allow you to make you information freely available to you friends (different info for different groups) but backed up by cryptography so the only easy way for someone else to get the data would be for them to ask your friends (no technical solution). The same client would make it easy for you to monetize your data, allowing strangers to buy access for an amount your comfortable with (more for new data, less for old, probably exponentially decaying price). A data aggregation business would decide whether or not its worth buying your data and, if so, how old it should be. Similarly, you could collect money from people sending you messages; useful for famous people, but you and I might be better off setting this to 0 (or maybe near 0 to help fight spam).

    Note: The whole network would probably benefit from a distributed online storage solution based on encryption (with personally held keys) for privacy. After all, you data is for your eyes only until you add some friends or set it for sale and, after that, should be available to those 24/7. A Tahoe LAFS node sounds like the way to go but the size of the node and imbalance between people wanting storage and people providing it would necessitate a built in funding system (ripple or bitcoin again).

    It's possible such a system will never come to fruition but I'm willing to bet that a small group of enthusiastic crypto-anarchists will build one between 5 and 15 years from now (probably by extending the most popular distributed social platform and storage solutions with cryptocurrency micropayments). Even more likely, no one will join this network because even with the promise of real control over your own data AND the ability to turn directly, instantly, and automatically into cash your share of the huge amount of money that Facebook makes will not be enough to overcome the network effect.

  • Re:Beautiful (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 13, 2013 @07:09PM (#42577527)

    How much of Facebook does the government have to own/run before it becomes liable to the first amendment?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 13, 2013 @07:50PM (#42577763)

    OKCupid already rolled this out a few months ago for all users. If a person's mailbox is full and someone tries to message them, they get a popup asking for a $1 "bribe" (their actual term) to have the message go the user anyway. Wouldn't be surprised if they also set up fake profiles of hot girls with "full" mailboxes. Easy money.

  • by thewolfkin (2790519) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @07:58PM (#42577803) Homepage

    Yeah, it's "crappy". With over 1 billion active users every month.

    What is it with neckbeards and their total inability to figure out the difference between "crappy" and "best social site ever made"?

    here's a for instance. I was on facebook the other day because my Mom died. I wanted to send a message to my close friends, but it's been a long time since I was on facebook so I wanted to scan thru my friendslist and updates my "lists" so I could be sure I wasn't leaving people out or including people. It's like a bloody nightmare to edit your lists on Facebook. Took me 30 minutes to figure out how by accident because nothing is where you'd think it should be and when I DID find it there's no way to see your entire list of friends who aren't on the list. You have to know the name in order to add them. Say what you will about G+'s completely empty user base from a design standpoint it's practically a dream to be able to see the list of friends and drag them to any circle you want all from the circle's menu in your sidebar. I can easily understand how Zuckerberg's sister accidentally let a family photo get shared to 'friends of friends' instead of just 'friends'. AOL was popular too.

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