Is Facebook really introducing a priority messaging for cash system?

8 Apr 2013

'Sup Dogg - under a rumoured new service, Facebook will charge users up to stg£10 to message celebs, like Snoop Dogg (or Snoop Lion as he prefers to be called these days)

Reports are emerging that social network Facebook is planning to start charging UK users up to stg£10 to send messages to celebrities.

CONFIRMED: Facebook has confirmed it is testing a paid messaging feature for sending priority messages to public figures.

The Daily Mail reported this morning that a sliding scale of up to stg£10.68 will be put in place to message those outside friendship circles.

Under the scheme, it will cost users 71p to send a standard message to people outside their friends circle on the social networking site.

We have reached out to Facebook to find out first of all if any of this is true and if so does it plan to share revenue with users for receiving unsolicited messages from strangers.

According to the report, Facebook plans to keep the revenues to itself.

The sliding scale will see users pay stg£10.68 to send messages to prominent celebrities, like diver Tom Daley, while rapper Snoop Dogg and author Salman Rushdie will cost an estimated stg£10.08.

The fee formula apparently works off an algorithm based on how many followers a user has on Facebook and how many messages they receive on Facebook.

Until we hear back from Facebook it’s hard to see how this could gain in popularity or even be practicable. While it might appeal to well-heeled fans and stalkers, users themselves may resent the social network making money out of intrusions to their inboxes.

Potentially, it may have some uses in terms of supporting charities and NGOs, but this could be just a flash in the pan.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years