Facebook members in U.K. must pay to hob-knob with celebs

Already a reality for U.S. members, U.K. Facebook users now pay fees to send messages to famous people, those outside their networks.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
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Facebook users in the U.K. are being treated to the same premium charges their counterparts in the U.S. have been hit with when sending messages to certain high-profile members on the social network, as well as people outside their circle of friends.

According to U.K. news site The Sunday Times, Facebook users in the U.K. late last week started being charged as much as 10 British pounds (about $15) to send messages to celebrity-status Facebook members. Olympic diver Tom Daley and former Children's laureate Michael Rosen are the most expensive celebrities to contact.

Facebook last year announced what it called a "small experiment" to charge customers in the United States for messages they send to people not on their Friends lists. Fees vary, depending on the popularity of the recipient. In some cases, users can be charged $15 if the person is famous enough.

Facebook caught the ire of its members earlier this year when it was discovered that sending a message to Mark Zuckerberg would cost $100. The company quickly did an about-face and eliminated that high price.

Although Facebook has kept its priority messaging behind a curtain, the company is believed to collect all of the cash for itself. All fees are paid online instantly with a credit card.