Several months after Facebook started testing promoted status messages, the social networking website on Friday said it will start “a small experiment” around paid messages.
In a statement posted on Facebook, the website said that it is making several changes to efficiently deliver messages that Facebook users get. As part of the new measures, it is rolling out an experimental feature that will allow a Facebook user to send a priority message to other user even if he is not a ‘friend’ at a nominal charge of $1. The current rate for the message is not final and Facebook may change it in future.
The service will be initially available only in the US and number of messages that can be send to a user will be capped at one per week.
“We’ve heard that messages people care about may not always be delivered or may go unseen in the Other folder,” the website noted in the statement.
It then explained that currently there are two kind of mail boxes Facebook users have. The Inbox is where they get messages from their friends while the Other is where the messages from strangers go.
“Facebook Messages is designed to get the most relevant messages into your Inbox and put less relevant messages into your Other folder. We rely on signals about the message to achieve this goal,” the website noted in its statement. “Today we’re starting a small experiment to test the usefulness of economic signals to determine relevance. This test will give a small number of people the option to pay to have a message routed to the Inbox rather than the Other folder of a recipient that they are not connected with.”
The feature can also be used by the Android users of Facebook Messenger. To use Facebook Messenger on Android, users don’t have to be a member of the social networking website.
Earlier Facebook had started an experimental feature that allowed people to promote their status message so that it reaches all their friends. Currently the feature is available to select users in several countries and costs $7 per status message.