Facebook users in Sweden might soon have to pay if they wish to email strangers on Facebook, after the controversial program began testing on a limited group in Sweden.
It has already been rolled out in the US and UK, and is ostensibly aimed at reducing spam for popular profiles on Facebook, but has cynically been viewed as another means to generate money for the overvalued tech company.
“It may sound a little dramatic, but the test started in the US in December and has now been introduced for a small percent of Swedish users,” Jan Fredriksson, Facebook spokesman for the Nordic offices, told the TT news agency.
It doesn’t affect mailing messages between friends or ‘fans’ of a your page, but those wishing to send messages to celebrities or even strangers for that matter will find themselves having to pay anything up-to US$100.
Presently a group of users in the United States are being charged $1 a message ‘to ensure their message arrives in the correct inbox’ says Facebook. It’s also only for private use, and not available to businesses for marketing purposes.
“We’re careful to ensure that Facebook is still free. This is a part of Facebook that costs money, and we’ve provided such services before. This is, above all, still a test, we’ll see if it will be introduced more broadly,” he said.
Tech bloggers have pointed out the necessity of the model, citing the case of online dating sites where women are inundated with messages sent en-mass by male members, and they ignore them as spam, defeating the objective.