Your Facebook Inbox Is For Sale

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facebook-icon-150x1501Facebook’s Monetization
Strategy Hits Your Inbox!

Finally, users begin to see the goal that Facebook had in mind by creating a unified communication system and getting people more focused on relying on their Facebook inbox!

Recently, my friend Marquita Herald asked,

“Afternoon all, I have a quick question. Admittedly I’ve been hanging on the fringe lately, once again in book writing mode, so I could well be the only one who didn’t know about this, but earlier I tried to send a message to someone in another group and because we’re not “Friends” this little box popped up saying something to the effect FB would be happy to deliver the message to their inbox for $1 … huh?! Also, when I sent the friend request I didn’t see an option to add a note – has that gone away to – do we really have to pay to add a note to a friend request?! What planet have I been on?!”

The odds are you haven’t seen this yet… but you will soon!

Yes it’s coming and yes it’s standard and no we don’t all have it yet.

All of us have 2 “boxes” on Facebook: the “inbox” and the “other” box.

By default, any message from a non-friend goes to the other box. This is why you can’t safely ignore the other box. The $1 option lets someone override that and get into the “inbox” which means its more likely to get seen .

Anyone that doesn’t have it will likely have it soon. Like everything else, its rolling out on a one-profile-at-a-time rollout.

Additionally, Facebook removed the “add a note to a friend request” feature well over a year ago. So you’ve HAD to manually “walk over” and send a message manually for about a year. It used to be right there with the “send request” but it’s not been for some time.

So that changed… and then a time gap… and now this change… so you can still send the not, and still for free, you just have to know it’s going to the “other” folder.

Does this mean that spammers can now get into your inbox? Sure does. Although at $1 a piece they will rapidly go broke which is sure to deter any who do not have a high value per lead. 

Does this mean that you need to pay if you want to send a message to someone to attempt to get connected? Yes. (The idea is that if they already know you outside of Facebook, you won’t need the message. And the rules say you’re only supposed to connect with people you know outside of Facebook. Most of us ignore those rules.)

So, when you see this message pop up, now you’ll know what it’s all about!

Have you encountered this charge feature yet? Do you think it will make Facebook much money? How do you feel about it?

~ Kim ~
Simple Tech Tips For Marketing





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  1. says

    Hello Kim

    I’ve been musing over this 1$ to send an email to what I figure is really highly untargeted unless I have missed something. It seems crazy to me that people would want to do this. Please let me know if I am missing something or if like me you think that spending 1$ to send an email via Facebook is rather daft!

  2. Jupiter Jim says


    I saw someone comment about this on FB. So I tried to send that person a message. That person was not a FB friend and FB said it would cost my $1.00 U.S. I thought maybe it was a joke or an App or a hoax or who the heck knows what. Since then, it’s happened a few more times when I tried to FB message someone if I liked there comment on a post. So this is real, just as your post suggests.

    My only serious question about all this is: “What is Facebook thinking?” Oh My Gosh! This is one of the great ways they have to monetize FB? This is pathetic.
    This is stupid, ridiculous and defies logic. Why would I spend $1 to send a message to someone I do NOT even know?

    And, as you mentioned, when you could no longer include a message with your friend request — I thought that was stupid and ridiculous and nonsensical and annoying as well.

    It’s so sad that the ‘brains’ at FB could conceive of and implement such a stupid, ineffectual way to monetize the power of FB.

    End of Rant!

    Once again, thanks for staying on top of the latest and greatest in FB and generously sharing with the community!

    ~ Jupiter Jim

  3. says

    Oh my, what a surprise to pop in and find myself quoted! While I’m all for anything that will reduce FB spam – especially if it will keep those creepy guys from showing up in my inbox – it will surely cause me to think twice about communicating with others. For example I started to send a note to someone in a group I belong to – she needed help with something and I had the answer but I didn’t want to post the info in the group. I ended up letting it go because I refuse to give FB my money and why bother with a message to the “hidden” boxes when she needed help like right now. But hey, it is what it is.

  4. says

    I guess I have a bit different idea about Facebook than some people. When FB first got money from the Venture Capitalists last year, it was s done deal that they were going to have to find additional revenue to pay that loan back. And that means rolling out new ways to “monetize their user base”

    Then when they went public and there was such an outcry over the stock de-valuation, they needed to put even more monetization efforts into place. The public price of a stock in the secondary markets is controlled by the news, both public and private. And you can be relatively certain that the institutional investors in FB stock raised a mighty big stink over their losses as the stock price sank.

    FB is a public for profit company, not the AARPNET. Even Mari Smith is re-positioning herself as the video expert. Reach is not going to go back up without paying. And the login screens are telling us that Facebook is free and always will be, which I suspect means: FB is going to roll out even more monetization ideas or they guys at Roboform are now working at Facebook. :-)

  5. says

    Wow! Granted the service is free and Mark Z. can do with Facebook what he wants, but give me a break. More and more I log into FB only to find every other post a motivational thing. (And, I’m guilty of it too.)

    I guess you’d have to ask yourself “Do I really need FB?” ‘Cause that’s the question I’m asking myself.


  6. says

    All I can say is that Marquita is famous, lol!

    That was interesting info you shared here Kim. I now feel a little better with the explanation now. I appreciate you sharing this about the inbox. Have a great day!

  7. Sarah Park says

    Sometimes, Facebook status could really be confusing. fI guess, they make updates at times that are not well-explained to the users.

  8. says

    Hi Kim,
    I had no idea that Facebook is doing this now since I haven’t sent any email messages with them lately. Wow I don’t know how well this plan will work for them but it will be interesting to see how people respond to this new development.
    Thanks for the latest info as always!

  9. says

    This isn’t in place for me yet, but I knew it was coming because I’ve been hearing about it for the past month or so. I don’t like it, because FB already makes it difficult to make many friend requests, and now we can’t write to non-friends to ask them to request our friendship either. I can understand it, though. It’s another way FB has of reducing spam. However, I don’t think it’s going to make them much money.


    • says

      Yeah Willena, this seems very “nickles and dimes” to me from Facebook. Lately we’ve seen a lot of 1$ here and 7$ there and 2$ here and it’s very interesting to watch them focus on “micro-transactions” with the general public. It really is aggravating to not be able to send a note with a friend request anymore.

  10. says

    I’m still with the mindset that I don’t mind this on my personal profile but that I’m sure will change. I’m just curious of how this will impact the like pages in the future.

    • says

      I’d love to see them give my page the ability to message a profile for $1. Sometimes there are customers I BADLY need to reach out to and assist that I can’t get to from the page. Not often but sometimes. I really miss pages being able to interact more naturally with profiles.

  11. says

    These social networks not only have to sustain revenues, but to continue to grow them.

    Some will definitely bark at the idea, but not sure it impacts the majority of users enough to change decrease their usage.

    I think “Free” as we know it online is slowly vanishing. Can’t give it all away for free.

  12. says

    My 2 cents…I heard on a news program that FB made $1B profits on $3.7B revenue and paid no income taxes…they must be hurting, huh? It is really so small minded I can’t even begin a decent rant…it isn’t the money so much but it defeats the whole purpose of networking on-line. Really nuts!

    • says

      Teresa, the interesting thing about this is that they just “joined” LinkedIn in this policy. In LinkedIn, which is business networking, InMail is required to mail contacts you are not directly connected with. LinkedIns setup is actually more restrictive in many ways.

  13. says

    Generally speaking, I’m not prepared to pay money either. However, if I needed to contact a busy influencer, who I knew was actually using their inbox (many don’t), who I wasn’t yet connected with, I’d gladly pay the piddly $1. I just wish that spammers would truly go to a spam folder, and not the “other” folder and that the other folder wasn’t such a mess of important stuff + junk.

  14. Robert Koenig says

    I can see how personal account holders with facebook would be upset by the fee, but for businesses it’s a relatively minor expense to reach someone important.

  15. says

    Target marketing at its best. As a user, I think its a minor intrusion to have a ‘non-friend’ get into my inbox. If I don’t want to read it, all I have to do is delete.

  16. Lee says

    I think this is the start of the down ward spiral that Facebook are going to start heading towards once they start messing around like this people are going to start to get annoyed. Then people will start looking somewhere else they feel more comfortable.

    Time will tell lee

  17. says

    I haven’t encountered this charge yet…..I’m not sure how I’ll feel about it when I do!…..seems more annoying than anything else…..I do appreciate the clarification of this issue…Thanks Kim

  18. says

    Yeah Facebook’s model is to make simple communication complex so it can charge you to make it work the way it should anyway. #Fail Press 2 and Insert $1 if you want the person you are calling to hear their phone ring.

  19. says

    Read about this when it was first announced but the option hasn’t hit my wall yet, I only see this as valuable for the absolutely important person you want to reach but can’t get to outside of your network, like someone with vast reach and influence that you know is fairly active on Facebook. Still though I would reach out to them via a contact form on their site or Twitter, Google Plus before paying the $1, since chances are if they ignored you already on all those networks, the $1 paid to reach them isn’t gonna get you noticed either :)

    I know I saw Mark himself had $100 per message to send a direct message to Mark’s FB account for him to read and was experimenting with it, if he actually read them then $100 to reach the attention of him directly not such a bad idea or investment.

    I see more business touting Google Plus as being the best tool for businesses over FB lately, still not seeing that myself but this could continue to push businesses toward G+ platform.

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