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Facebook Testing $100 Fee To Mail Mark Zuckerberg 228

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 Monoman ( 8745 ) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @04:06PM (#42576429) Homepage

    "It’s free and always will be."

  • My prediction (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 13, 2013 @04:07PM (#42576433)

    I predict that Slashdot groupthinkers will bash the idea of ever paying for Facebook messages as greedy, evil capitalism at its worst, etc., even though they overwhelmingly supported charging a fee to send emails to cut down on mass spam when that idea was being thrown around a few years back.

  • Re:Laugh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tanujt ( 1909206 ) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @04:08PM (#42576447)
    It's free. Just delete your facebook profile.
  • funny (Score:3, Insightful)

    by lapm ( 750202 ) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @04:09PM (#42576449)
    100$ to send him mail? After all that 100$ dosent even garantie you reply from him...
  • by Mitreya ( 579078 ) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [ayertim]> on Sunday January 13, 2013 @04:20PM (#42576529)

    "It's free and always will be."

    MZ must like his privacy -- imagine that.

    The facebook is still free, but the "cool" (i.e. rich) people will exist in a separate world. Almost surprising it took so long to separate the first and economy class. I am guessing MZ will never need to pay to message anyone.

  • Re:Beautiful (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mitreya ( 579078 ) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [ayertim]> on Sunday January 13, 2013 @04:23PM (#42576571)

    Just pay $1.59* and exercise your right to free speech!
    ... compensate for your brazen use of the First Amendment.

    Oh, come on. I dislike Facebook as much as the next person, but what "free speech" and what "first amendment" are you talking about??

    Facebook is a private enterprise. Until they are a government agency (not yet), free speech/1st amendment does not apply. Totally irrelevant

    This might not even be a money grabbing move as much as "rich people should have their privacy" despite being on Facebook. M.Z. had one of his family Thanksgiving photos published against his wishes recently -- he was pretty annoyed about that.

  • Attention economy (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dainutehvs ( 936606 ) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @04:42PM (#42576675) Journal

    I like the concept. Actually I think it is brilliant. There are gazillions of things that fight over our attention every day just as we open our eyes. We live in constant noise of commercials/e-mails/calls/banners/meeting-requests/u-name-it. And the most efficient way to reach a person is to be loud. And annoying. And it costs virtually nothing. And intermediaries - ad agencies etc. are those who take the most advantage and profit from this mess. But with this concept - everybody can charge for for their attention Directly . Maybe mr. everybodys attention starts to be Valued . IIn that case it would be like giving the power back to the people!

  • by cupantae ( 1304123 ) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <llienoram>> on Sunday January 13, 2013 @04:47PM (#42576707)

    "cool" (i.e. famous)

    FTFY. Famous people are those who are known by many more people than they know personally. It is entirely reasonable that such people should need greater protection from unsolicited messaging.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 13, 2013 @05:14PM (#42576839)

    It should be, but someone who has claimed that privacy is dead and has a business model based on that assumption is not in a position to claim such protection without being a total hypocrite. And this is about privacy, having privacy means being left alone when you want to be left alone. If he can claim $100 for receiving a message I would like to claim $1, just 1% of wat Mark asks, for every fact about my browsing habits Facebook records, for every connection they make with data I can or cannot see, and probably a few more things. That should be a nice source of income.

  • Pay me (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Isao ( 153092 ) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @07:43PM (#42577725)
    I love it, go for it Zuck! This is clearly a preview of a roll-out to the general user base, where anyone, including advertisers, has to pay a user to send them messages (unless they're already accepted as a friend). This is great! Monetize advertisers (FB takes a transaction fee), and incentivise users to accept advertising an their own terms. I bet the next version of this will include topic and interest filters, so you can discount the fees on things you might actually like to hear about, and raise them on the noise. I'd only charge $0.50 to hear about a tech item, but $100 to hear about a Justin Beiber concert. Works for me, where do I sign up?
  • by ed.markovich ( 1118143 ) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @08:21PM (#42577895) Homepage

    Imagine you get more mail a day than you can read. You got two choices: spend significant time filtering through or risk missing the signal for the noise.

    Now imagine every message in your inbox cost someone $100. First, it would significantly cut down on the volume. Second, if you know that a stranger spent $100 to write to you, you can assume it's not completely trivial - someone must have thought that what they have to say is so valuable that you're going to care and respond that they staked money on it.

    Frankly, $100 is cheap. Say I have a startup idea that I think facebook would jump all over but I have no-one in my network who can help me bring it to FB's attention. I would GLADLY pay $100 for access to Zuckerberg - if $100 is enough to bring his inbox to a reasonable size such that my genuinely good idea could get the attention it deserves, it's well worth it. Frankly I think $100 is too cheap for someone at as high a profile as Zuckerberg.

    Many of us get LinkedIn email from recruiters that we generally proceed to ignore. Now let's say a recruiter had to pay $5 to email me (if they weren't in my network): it would both cut down the amount of noise, and make me likely to take the email more seriously: if the recruiter was willing to put up money to make me aware of his opportunity, maybe there's something there.

    Similarly, imagine it cost $5 to send your resume to a company. It would immediately stop people submitting their resumes for every posting in the world. The company could rely on the fact that any application for any position is from someone who genuinely believes they are a match and perhaps do away with machine resume filters, if the volume was brought down enough. In other words: although it would seem "greedy" to charge people $5 to apply for your job, it would end up meaning that more of the better candidates made it further through the process.

    In general, putting a $ figure on a communication significantly increases the signal to noise ratio. $100 for Zuckerberg's attention is fair. $5 for my attention on LinkedIn is probably fair too - especially if I could set my own price. If I don't get anyone contacting me, I drop the price. If I get too many bogus offers, I raise it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 13, 2013 @09:44PM (#42578315)

    I do think it works for other people.

    I want people to be able to reach me. But I only want people who have a legitimate reason to reach me. Spammers don't qualify. My fianceé's ex-husband doesn't qualify. But neither of them would pay money to reach me. Who would? I don't know. A fan of my work. A long lost relative. A lawyer wanting my testimony. If I knew, it wouldn't matter. They'd be my Facebook friend. By charging for the service, Facebook can open up my message box to the public and make money while also passively blocking a lot of spam.

    Listen, if I send MZ a certified letter in the mail, that costs me money, the post office makes money, but it doesn't end up in MZ's wallet. I really don't see what the difference is here except that the actual cost to deliver the message vs. the price is much different. But, that's not necessarily a bad thing because of spam, etc.

  • Re:Laugh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wvmarle ( 1070040 ) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @10:24PM (#42578499)

    Facebook is known to not delete anything. In Europe people have been requesting all the info Facebook has about them - and also found many comments they thought they deleted to still be present.

    What Facebook calls "delete" merely means "hide".

  • Re:Laugh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by davester666 ( 731373 ) on Monday January 14, 2013 @01:02AM (#42579313) Journal

    They think 'delete' means "Don't show this to me anymore"

  • by DrXym ( 126579 ) on Monday January 14, 2013 @08:12AM (#42580641)
    The barrier to switch is NOT nil. If your network of friends is on Facebook then switching means losing all your contacts or persuading them (and all their friends ad infinitum) to switch. People have invested in the service, and even if it's really shitty and people grouse about it, they'll stick with it.

Who goeth a-borrowing goeth a-sorrowing. -- Thomas Tusser