Facebook Puts A Price On Permission

Chad White

As the latest effort to make email more like postal mail, Facebook’s new Paid Messages program is completely fascinating to me. The program, which is in beta, allows individuals to pay $1 to send someone outside of their network a message and have it land in the recipient's inbox instead of the junk-collecting black hole-like “Other” folder.

Paid Messages is in the same vein as the “pay for guaranteed delivery” program offered by the now defunct Goodmail, as well as the unsuccessful bonded sender programs that preceded it. After posting a monetary bond, bonded sender participants could send email that bypassed filters; however, the program debited the bond every time recipients reported their email as spam.

Just as those other programs did...

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