Facebook is instituting another round of changes, and this time they might cost you.
In case you hadn’t noticed, Facebook messaging now consists of two folders: “Inbox” and “Other.” “Other” collects messages from people you don’t know that more often than not are spam. As of now, people who aren’t on Facebook can still send you messages that will go to your “Other” folder — a good thing, right? You’d think, but now the social networking company is putting forth a small test where some users can pay Facebook a $1 fee to have their messages go to “Inbox” whereas they previously would have been sent to “Other.”
“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,” reads a blog post on the Facebook Newsroom. “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.”
The post continues, “This test is designed to address situations where neither social nor algorithmic signals are sufficient. 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.”
Bottom line: If you want to message people you’re friends with, you won’t have to pay anything extra. But if you want to message someone you don’t know and want to make sure they see it, you might have to pay a fee. Of course, this also could spiral quickly out of control and end up instituting a cost to use the messaging service in some capacity, so it remains to be seen if the new feature will be implemented. The other option available? Just check your “Other” folder regularly.
In addition, Facebook is introducing a new option for filtering messages that come to your inbox: “Basic Filtering” and “Strict Filtering.” Using those options fortunately doesn’t cost anything extra.