Facebook users in US maybe charged a one-time fee of one dollar to send a message to another user's inbox who they aren't friends with, in a new option that is being tested by the social media firm.
Currently, if you send a Facebook message to someone you're not connected to, it may end up in the 'Other' tab, an oft-overlooked subsection of the inbox that basically serves as a spam folder, depending on whether you have mutual connections.
With the new option, however, you would be able to pay a premium to ensure the message ends up in the main inbox where it is likely to be seen by the recipient, Stuff.co.nz reports.
According to the report, Facebook said users will have the option to mark the incoming message as spam and move it to the 'Other' tab, which means the sender will be unable to reach their inbox afterwards.
However, if the recipient doesn't take any action, the sender will be able to continue messaging that user's inbox an unlimited number of times after paying the one-time fee, the report said.
"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," Facebook said in a blog post.
The feature has only been turned on in the US so far, but the company added: "We'll continue to iterate and evolve Facebook Messages over the coming months.
Facebook is billing the change as an attempt to crack down on spam by seeing if "imposing a financial cost on the sender" serves as a deterrent to sending unwanted messages, the report added.