Facebook has begun a trial of a new system that will see you charged a fee when you message a celebrity, with prices ranging from a few pence all the way up to over £10 for some of the more high profile names.
This beta run is being conducted by a “small percentage of users” to start with and if successful will be rolled out worldwide, though Facebook isn’t convinced that will happen as of yet. The price of the message will depend on internal algorithms used by Facebook to calculate the celebrity status of the person. It takes into consideration numbers of likes and followers among other things. Suggested prices for not very well known characters will cost users £0.50 or so, whereas someone like the Twitter abused Tom Daly, could cost you as much as £10.68.
“It is being tested among a very small percentage of users,” said a spokeswoman discussing the new feature (via The Guardian). “There is no set timescale. It depends on what happens, what feedback we get as to whether it is rolled out nationally. We are testing a number of price points in the UK and other countries to establish the optimal fee that signals importance. This is still a test and these prices are not set in stone.”
This system could eventually find uses outside of the celebrity spectrum, with users charged if they send messages to anyone outside of their circle of friends.
KitGuru Says: Of course the problem with a system like this, is you’d expect to be receiving a premium service for your money, especially £10 for a single message, but there’s no guarantee the person will even read it, let alone reply.