Facebook tests $1 fee for inbox access
This is an interesting (beta) feature that Facebook is testing. Basically, you can send a message to anyone on Facebook and have it appear in their inbox (Instead of 'other' folder) for a fee of $1.
Right now, it looks like advertisers can't take advantage of this, but how do you feel about the change?
What about if they decide to allow advertisers to take advantage of this system?
I agree, I doubt it will make it out of beta, but it is interesting that Facebook seems to be taking measures like this to no doubt increase revenue for it's shareholders.
Agree here as well. It's a terrible, terrible idea. Facebook has done nothing but shoot themselves in the foot again and again. They make changes that are unpopular, they're very iffy with privacy, and now they can make it possible to be clobbered with spam. Whatever they want to call it, it will end up essentially being like spam.
It's a hacky and lazy attempt to get some cash flowing. It'll blow up in their space.
Here's the killer for this beta... say they have some success with it (for the sake of argument, lets say this works), what happens when they open it up to brands/businesses? BAM! We all start getting newsletters and ads in our inbox from brands trying to get us to buys stuff. From there I can see people getting annoyed with the higher influx of ads, and more people stop using FB messenger.
As marketers we need to respect the balance between creating branding messages/using proper channels, and making sure people aren't getting annoyed. Once you start annoying a large group of people with advertising, you start getting negative PR when they start bashing you for your advertising practices.
Will this work? Probably not... I mean why would I pay $1/message just to have someone delete or not respond to my message. I'd be better off spending that at McDonalds. Sure I'd feel just as crappy after eating the burger as I would if I didn't get a response back, but at least I knew I actually got something for that dollar =)
It's invasive even if it is targeted. Facebook is all about connecting with the people and brands you choose. If you can pay to reach people that didn't want to connect with you (or didn't know about you), I think it crosses a line. But again, Facebook IS a free service and a great one at that. They have to make money somehow, so I get why they are pursuing creative means. I still think it's a bad idea.
I also think that this is a bad idea because it is invasive. They can already pay for placement in the ads location as well as directly in the news feed. Paying to get in the users inbox is one step too far.
You'd think that by this point Facebook (as well as similar companies attempting to monetize) would realize this is the exact WRONG direction to go. Maybe they should start fielding ideas from the community more instead of from investors (I realize this goes against a lot of business practice, but this approach honestly feels like it's becoming the quickest way to sink your own Battleship).
I think this is a terrible idea. Facebook users will NOT like being essentially spammed. It would be the beginning of the end for Facebook.
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