SOCIAL NETWORK Facebook will let its billion users send a message directly to its boss, Mark Zuckerberg, but only if you pay it $100.
Depending on what you want to say, and how many there are of you, this could be a pretty good deal. If you just want to say "Hi" we'd recommend that instead you make some sort of donation to charity.
It was Mashable that stumbled upon the cash for reaching Zuckerberg deal, and it said that it got the same response from a range of accounts. None of them were one of Zuckerberg's 16 million followers, and the report suggests that this might be a coincidence. Who knows? We are still looking down the back of our sofa for change.
The idea that Facebook could charge for access to its users' inboxes have been floating around for a little while now. In December Facebook said that it was updating its messaging tools and running a test that would see a charge put in place to discourage spamming.
"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," it said.
"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."
Today in an emailed statement Facebook said that the Zuckerberg example was an "extreme" one. "We are testing some extreme price points to see what works to filter spam," it said.
Paying a premium for access to the Facebook CEO makes a lot of sense. We are hoping to try this out, but not all of us are on Facebook.
Those who are found that they were able to message Zuckerberg and were not required to pay for the privilege. We are busy people, we have not spent the morning abusing this. µ