Facebook trials paid e-mail service

Facebook trials paid e-mail service

Summary: Social networking giant is testing the viability of charging users a fee for allowing them to send e-mail messages to other users that are not in their online social circle.

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Facebook is looking at charging users for sending e-mail messages to other users who are not in their online social circle, as it looks for alternative revenue sources besides advertising.

In a blog post issued Thursday, the social networking giant said it is starting a "small experiment" to test the usefulness of "economic signals" to determine the relevance of messages sent to users. This trial would give a small number of people the option to pay to have a message routed to the Inbox folder of a recipient they are not connected to, which would otherwise have landed in the person's Other folder, it explained.

"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," Facebook said.

The company currently relies on social "signals", such as friend connections on the platform to determine whether a message is likely to be one users wants to to see in their Inbox. It also depends on algorithms to identify spam and use broader signals from the social graph--such as friend of friend connections or people the user may know--to determine relevance, it explained.

The trial is currently open to select users in the United States, and the number of messages a person can have routed from their Other folder to the Inbox folder will be limited to one per week, it added.

This pay-for-e-mail service is just one of the many initiatives Facebook has been exploring to increase its revenue fields. In recent times, it has been increasing advertising efforts by testing out advertising on third-party sites and apps, working with companies to advertise existing consumers, and tracking user activity online to re-target ads, as the company looks to recover from its plunging stock valuation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Topic: Social Enterprise

Kevin Kwang

About Kevin Kwang

A Singapore-based freelance IT writer, Kevin made the move from custom publishing focusing on travel and lifestyle to the ever-changing, jargon-filled world of IT and biz tech reporting, and considered this somewhat a leap of faith. Since then, he has covered a myriad of beats including security, mobile communications, and cloud computing.

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5 comments
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  • Really....

    Paid FaceMail?
    coastin
  • Looks like

    Facebook will soon become the new MySpace
    pratnala
  • Sounds like pay-to-spam

    But I have no idea what this guy's talking about. Why would you not simply open up your email client and send an email for free?
    none none
  • Who uses Facebook for email anyways?

    Who uses Facebook for email anyways? I've yet to find somebody who does.
    CobraA1
  • anyways is not a word

    anyway is
    ForeverSPb