Facebook $1 Fee Allows Users to Send Messages to Strangers: Stalkerish?

Facebook is considering a measure that will allow users to message other users that they are not friends with, for a small fee. But public reception has not been positive.

Facebook is currently considering a new feature that could help users connect with others outside of their network. The service would cost a $1 fee and allow the user to send a message to someone that they do not know. The person who receives the message may respond to the sender, or the message can be placed in Spam or Other.

If the person responds, the sender will not incur any addition fees. Otherwise, the user will not be allowed to send another message.

"So basically they're going to make a business out of providing services to your stalker?" one user questioned on a Yahoo blog. A number of other Facebook users appeared to agree, believing that offering the option was a violation of privacy.

Facebook has noted that the $1 fee should prevent people from receiving any "unwanted messages."

"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," Facebook said in a statement.

At current, messages sent to people who are not within a network get sent to an "Other" folder that many users are unaware of. The new format would allow users a more effective way of reaching out and being noticed. For example, a user may use the new trial to contact "someone you heard speak at an event but are not friends with, or if you want to message someone about a job opportunity."

But paying a fee for any type of message was out of the question.

"DOOMED to failure. No person in their right mind would spend a buck to send a message, without some confirmation that the end user really got it, and responded back," another user wrote.

LinkedIn, a popular site for building business connections, has a similar feature however. Users can pay a monthly or yearly fee for the ability to reach out to people whom they are not already connected to.