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Facebook Introduces Pay-To-Send Messaging Service

Bogdan BOTEZATU

December 21, 2012

Facebook Introduces Pay-To-Send Messaging Service

A new messaging update from Facebook guarantees that your message will get to people who likely don`t want to hear about you, provided you pay $1 per message. This feature has been rolled out since Thursday for US accounts only.

Up until now, whenever a user receives a message, Facebook computes a score for it, based on social cues such as connections between friends, paired with anti-spam and anti-bot verifications mechanisms. If a message meets the standards, it lands into the user`s inbox, otherwise it gets routed to the “Others” folder, whose contents are not displayed by default, because they are deemed as spammy.

This test is designed to address situations where neither social nor algorithmic signals are sufficient,Facebook said in a blog post. “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.

While the explanation makes sense on paper, Facebook`s motivation seems to be driven by financial reasons, rather than by security concerns. By granting virtually anyone a clear way to the Inbox, the program could facilitate phishing and malware distribution from attackers outside the friends (or friends of friends) list.

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