Fresh off the uproar from policy updates for photo-sharing service Instagram, owner Facebook revealed its testing an option that charges users a fee to send a message to someone they don’t know.
The move is part of a broader plan to tweak filtering options for Facebook Messages and the mobile Facebook Messenger app.
Users will get two choices for filtering messages: a basic version for friends or “friends of friends,” and a strict option that only allows Friend messages. All other correspondence will end up in an Other folder.
As part of this, Facebook is experimenting with an option to pay a small fee to send a message to someone not directly connected to a user. They say the move would allow important messages to reach users without inundating them with spam.
“This test is designed to address situations where neither social nor algorithmic signals are sufficient,” reads an annoucement from Facebook. “For example, if you want to send a message to someone you heard speak at an event but are not friends with, or if you want to message someone about a job opportunity, you can use this feature to reach their Inbox. For the receiver, this test allows them to hear from people who have an important message to send them.”
The test applies to Facebook accounts in the U.S. Also, users would only receive a maximum of one of these paid messages per week.