Users of Facebook who wish to send messages to celebrities who aren’t among their circle of friends may be charged a fee as part of a trial in the UK. The standard charge for a fee is 71p but may be as much as £11 according to various factors. Tom Daley, the Olympic swimmer will cost users £10.68, while a message to the girlfriend of Prince Harry, Cressida Bonas is 71p.
Celebrities and other users who don’t have official followers or fans will all come under the 71p bracket, the standard charge. The amount varies for each celebrity or person according to a number of factors including a “fame” algorithm and how many followers or fans a person has. The trial was rolled out initially in the US in December 2012. It has now been introduced on a trial basis in another 36 countries, which includes the UK. Facebook has yet to decide whether to roll out the charging system across the whole of the platform. A spokeswoman said:
“It is being tested among a very small percentage of users. There is no set timescale.It depends on what happens, what feedback we get as to whether it is rolled out nationally.
“We are testing a number of price points in the UK and other countries to establish the optimal fee that signals importance. This is still a test and these prices are not set in stone.”
If the charges are rolled out, it is possible that it will have an affect on search engine optimisation and marketing that many companies use Facebook for.