Facebook trials charging $1 to send a message to strangers

Small scale trial to see if the social network can monetise further

With social blogging sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all looking for ways to monetise their services Facebook has started looking beyond ad revenue

Facebook is testing a new feature which will charge users $1 to send a message to someone they're not friends with on the social networking site. This test will be the first time Facebook has imposed a charge on using its services.

Announced in a statement via the Facebook newsroom, the site outlines how the test will operate and also specifies that this will only affect a very small number of users in the US.

"Today we’re starting a small experiment to test the usefulness of economic signals to determine relevance. This test will give a small number of people the option to pay to have a message routed to the Inbox rather than the Other folder of a recipient that they are not connected with."

The statement goes on to point out that not only will it be financially beneficial to the site but that there will also be some significant benefits to the user as well.

"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."

Only recently Facebook-owned Instagram suffered the consequences of trying to monetise its own business by suggesting that it would use personal images for advertising purposes, Facebook will no doubt be hoping its own attempt doesn't backfire in such a fashion.