Earlier today Facebook announced a new way to monetize the website by using paid emails. This may sound strange to many people and it is! Why would you pay to email other Facebook users? Well there are many reasons depending on your use of Facebook, which I will go into detail later. This is very similar to LinkedIn Premium’s “InMails” system.
Facebook said in their official blog that this is a way to prevent spam from entering your inbox by creating a barrier of entry, being the cost. If the email spammers think they can make more than the $1 cost back by mass spamming people then they will continue to use this. This is what Facebook had to say:
Several commentators and researchers have noted that imposing a financial cost on the sender may be the most effective way to discourage unwanted messages and facilitate delivery of messages that are relevant and useful. This test is designed to address situations where neither social nor algorithmic signals are sufficient.
If your just a casual Facebook user then you can benefit by messaging people in your life that you may like or want to have contact with in the future. For example, if you met a cute girl in the subway and never got her phone number. If you have her name you can find her on Facebook and add her as a friend. You can also message her, but most likely it will go into the SPAM folder. If you pay Facebook a nominal fee they will ensure that it goes directly into the users inbox. If you want to message a job recruiter about potential job openings you can ensure your resume and cover letter makes it into their inbox and not lost in the “other” spam inbox.
For businesses this is very powerful tool offered by Facebook. If Pepsi wants to email all the Facebook users that liked their page about a special blend coming out for Christmas they can now pay Facebook to ensure that every email gets into the users inbox and not SPAM folder. This means more impressions for ads, and allows for businesses in essence to become legitimate SPAMMERS on Facebook. This can have some huge consequences for Facebook as its users are surely not happy about this change as they were not happy about Instagram (owned by Facebook) announcing yesterday that your pictures can be used to create paid ads.
This all seems like Facebook is looking to keep investor happy by implementing new ways to monetize the site and back up all the funding’s received. Facebook needs to have a strong revenue model in play, which it currently lacks. Many experimental methods will be released in the upcoming months to many year end earnings look strong. The main issue is so many people use the mobile interface, yet ads are difficult to implement. Recently, there has been an increase in the amount of ads placed in the mobile news feed with sponsored posts, stories, pages, and pictures.
How do you feel about this and will it impact your usage of Facebook messaging?