Facebook testing a pay-to-message plan - FOX Carolina 21

Facebook testing a pay-to-message plan

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Elizabeth Bennett uses Facebook for both personal and professional reasons. 

"It's been like an all-purpose thing and it's been a good thing," she said.

She's a Spartanburg-based anti-bullying experts, and said she gets messages all the time from people who aren't friends.

She said she doesn't mind it one bit.

"If I don't have you blocked, I've got you wide open, I don't mind hearing from you," she said. "And if you get weird on me, I'll block you."

But Facebook is testing a new service right now on some of its users.

Currently, messages from non-Facebook friends usually show up in a "Other" folder in a user's Facebook messages.

But if you're not a Facebook friend with someone, and you want to send a message to that person, you'd pay $1 for it to show up in their inbox.

The reason Facebook is even considering doing this? Money.

"If you're trying to charge for something that you can go elsewhere and get for free, then you're not going to make any money off it," said James Akers Jr., a social media expert based in Greenville.

Akers said Facebook has been looking for revenue since it became publicly traded. The pay-to-message feature seems to be one of the money ideas the company is floating around, and is meant to be targeted towards businesses. However, people can pay for the chance to message, too.

"That's something that Facebook is very good about," said Akers. "It's pushing the envelope and slowly but surely making us OK with things that we weren't OK with a year ago."

Bennett, however, believes this might go too far. Despite Facebook's plan just being a test right now, the website doesn't say anything about protections from potential pedophiles. Bennett also said if bullies or stalkers want to act, it would just be a buck away.

"If a bully pays $1 to send you a message, save it, document it, take it to police because we've got laws here," said Bennett.

Akers, however, questions the viability if the service.

"If I want to save a dollar and I want you to read my message, why wouldn't I just friend you and send you a message rather than pay $1 and send you a message that you may or may not even read," he said.

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