If someone who is not friends with Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook wanted to send him a message, it would cost them $100.
Tech website Mashable on Thursday reported about the fee. It said that after opening a message box on Zuckerberg’s Facebook page, anyone who is not friends with or subscribed to the founder's circle, will receive two options for sending their message, “send this message to his inbox for $100.00,” or “Just send this message to his Other folder.”
The charge is in step with Facebook’s recent experiments with a pay-to-message model, the New York Observer's blog Beta Beat said. The social media website unveiled a new feature in December that requires users to pay $1 to send messages to nonfriends.
The Menlo Park, Calif., company has now raised the ante by implementing a message fee to contact certain VIPs such as Zuckerberg.
A Facebook spokesman confirmed to the UK Telegraph that the new fee is part of its pay-to-message initiatives.
“We are testing some extreme price points to see what works to filter spam,” he told the newspaper.
The company said in December that it was seeking to determine whether adding a "financial signal" improves its formula for delivering "relevant and useful" messages to members' inboxes, according to the UK Telegraph.
Facebook has noted that its main purpose for the trials is to achieve a more-efficient method of spam control.
"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 company said.
The “Other” folder essentially collects spam, which is typically hidden and often goes unchecked for long periods of time.
Facebook also may be looking to profit from establishing fees for “cold” messaging, in which companies pay to send spam to user’s inboxes, the UK Telegraph said, noting that the method could be an untapped source of revenue for the social media website.
Beta Beat noted that Zuckerberg now has more than 16 million subscribers, suggesting that a good chunk of Facebook's users will never be charged for sending a message to his inbox.
Fionna Agomuoh is a Technology Reporter for the International Business Times, a vegan foodie, and a lover of Electric Dance Music.