Facebook just announced that it is planning to try a new feature of their service. It will allow users who to pay $1 to send a message to a non friend. This means that if you wanted to send a message to someone that you were not friends with, you can simply pay the $1 charge and off goes your message to them.
Most of the comments I’ve read from people on various news postings all say that they would never use this service. They say that it makes no sense to pay in order to message someone who isn’t your friend in the first place. If you wanted to talk to them, you would befriend them.
While this makes sense, everyone is missing the big ass monster around the corner. It’s something that is being overlooked by most of the news posts I’ve read, and almost all of the readers who have commented. However, given my gift of spotting bullshit from a blimp in a fog storm (-Angie Harmon), I can’t help but ignore the incredible negative side of this.
[pullquote]The report adds that the video ads will be on “autoplay,” meaning they will start running automatically, a potentially controversial move.[/pullquote]
Advertisers who want to dump messages directly into your inbox will now be able to pay for this ability. All they have to do is pay the $1 and your inbox catches one of their messages. Facebook has already started drowning the site in advertising. According to Mashable they will soon begin stuffing auto playing video advertisements into you feed are well. The fact that they are now going to allow people to target your inbox for a fee only means they are profiting from the potential spam that you will receive.
Another big bad awfulness that is right there waiting are the malicious users who want to send you a link to a site that will steal your information. You get things like that all the time in your email. Bank of America is always contacting me about my account information being compromised, and how I need to visit a site to fix it. The problem is that I have never had a Bank of America account. The people who send those messages are hoping that I do and that I’ll visit the link, add my details and try to fix the made up problem. The details I include are sent to them and they in turn use it against me. The same happens with Facebook.
Malicious users will try to use this service to get your password and any other log in and sensitive information for anything that they can. Because it’s coming at you from within Facebook, and likely from accounts that are made to appear official (names that look like it would be part of Facebook), many people will fall for this trick.
Facebook can not play stupid
The minds at this social network have to know that this is a likely scenario. They must know that no regular user is going to use this service. Why would they? What idiot in the marketing department believes that normal users will spend money to send a message to someone that they aren’t friends with, when all they need to do is friend the person?
[pullquote align=”left”]However, if the recipient doesn’t take any action, the sender will be able to continue messaging that user’s inbox an unlimited number of times after paying the one-time fee. – Mashable[/pullquote]
In the case of MySpace, they are poised for a comeback soon. I’ve been using their new beta and it’s pretty nice. It’s very feature lacking, which is a massive change for MySpace. Thankfully, there is no ability to horrify web designers with those god awful bright colors and tacky designs that people would use. It’s very clean cut and seems easy to use.
MySpace and Google+ had better get ready for the storm. Instagram is already watching their audience empty into services like Flickr, so those two are likely going to be where Facebook users run to.