Monetization on steroids: Facebook's $100 experiment

If the United States Treasury can play around with the idea of minting a $1 trillion coin, can Facebook charge $100 to message its co-founder?

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If the United States Treasury can play around with the idea of minting a $1 trillion coin, what's so crazy about Facebook charging you $100 to send an email message to CEO Mark Zuckerberg -- or some other exalted muckey-muck -- to ensure the missive doesn't wind up gathering mold in the recipient's Other folder?

OK, it's a little crazy. But if Facebook can convince some One Percenter with too much money in his pocket that this is a worthy idea, more power to it. The folks at Mashable got wind of the test program last night -- actually reports began circulating last month -- but they got visual confirmation for the first time "and certainly the first time we've seen it applied to the founder."

In December, Facebook announced a $1 pay-to-message test allowing some people to pay to have a message routed to the Inbox of someone they're not connected with, rather than have it be banished to the Other folder.

In an email, the company sent us the same canned quote that it offered others confirming that it was "testing some extreme price points to see what works to filter spam."

About the author

Charles Cooper was an executive editor at CNET News. He has covered technology and business for more than 25 years, working at, the Associated Press, Computer & Software News, Computer Shopper, PC Week, and ZDNet.


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