Facebook users may be getting a new type of mail in their inboxes thanks to a new feature the social media company is slowly rolling out beginning this week. For a price, Facebook is allowing a “small number” of people to pay money to send users a message in their mailbox rather than having it land in their “other” box that is normally reserved for non-friends (and spam).
The news, as most changes to to the popular social media site are, was met with concern from users that Facebook was just selling their information and access to advertisers. But in a post on the official Facebook blog, the company insisted that the new feature isn’t just a money-grabbing scheme, but rather one that allows users to message someone they’re looking to get in touch with but aren’t friends with. Public relations professionals have also pointed out this isn’t exactly a new concept–LinkedIn has a similar feature for their paying subscribers.
Facebook assured users in the blog post that they still have control over whom they receive messages from. Users can report spam or block features to ban users they don’t want to be contacted by.
The pay-to-message news comes during a turbulent time for Facebook. It recently put its ad network on hold and may still be facing ramifications from its botched IPO.