Facebook has announced on December 20, 2012 that they were starting a small experiment by giving a small amount of people the option to pay to send a message to someone they were not Facebook friends with, and have that message routed to that persons Inbox rather than their Others folder.
This test is designed to address situations where neither social nor algorithmic signals are sufficient. 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. For the receiver, this test allows them to hear from people who have an important message to send them.
Now, personally, if someone has to pay to send me a message – I probably don’t want that message. I’m worried about all the spam this might bring about – even though there is argument that forcing the messages to cost money would actually limit the amount of spam. I guess once this goes live on a larger scale – we’ll see. This might turn around and become a great online marketing tool for the future.