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Facebook now charges you to badger celebrities

Harassing celebrities on Facebook will now cost you upwards of a tenner with a new paid messaging tool.

Facebook has begun trialling a paid messaging tool, allowing users to contact their celebrity idols directly. Until now, the gallons of fan-spam celebs get every day has been directed to the 'Other' folder of the recipient's inbox, with nary a notification to alert them to the new message.

You'll be coughing up over a tenner (£10.68) to get in touch with top-tier slebs like Olympic diving medallist Tom Daley, or £10.08 for Snoop Dog Lion and, er, author Salman Rushdie, the Times reports.

It's not to be a generous cash cow for the celebrities, though, as 100 per cent of the profits will be heading directly back to Facebook. Children's author Michael Rosen, who is one of the first to be involved in the programme, says he won't receive a "penny of the paid fan mail".

That's awkward, because users paying good money to contact their idols will expect a personal reply. And the celebrities involved -- or more likely, their assistants -- may not have all day to craft individual responses to every message.

"The system of paying to message non-friends in their Facebook inbox is designed to prevent spam, while acknowledging that sometimes you might want to hear from people outside your immediate social circle," said a Facebook spokesperson.

Under the scheme you can message any normal stranger -- those untouched by the sickly limelight of celebrity -- for a mere 71p. You can still send an unannounced Other message to anyone for free, with under-18s prevented from receiving them, or paying to send them.

The announcement follows a string of new Facebook features, most recently the Facebook Home skin for Android, which takes the helm of the operating system for the most part.

Will you be taking advantage of Facebook's paid messaging scheme? Do you think celebs should get a cut of the profits? Have a natter in the comments below or direct your opinion to our free of charge Facebook page.

Additional reporting by Ben Buffone.