A tenner to message Snoop? Facebook's pay-to-message trial hits the UK

A tenner to message Snoop? Facebook's pay-to-message trial hits the UK

Facebook is trying out its new money-spinning scheme in the UK, charging some British users a premium to send a message to people they don't know.

Although the Facebook has abandoned it's plan to charge you $100 to message Mark Zuckerberg (can't think why that didn't take off), it is still merrily skipping down the paid-for messaging path and trying to work out the optimal pricing structure.

The algorithm is based on how many followers the person you're messaging has, as well as how many other people are trying to get in touch with them.

In case of light showers?

So if you've got a burning question for Snoop Dogg/Lion, as we do, then you'll be charged just over £10.08 on the basis that 24 million people 'like' him and presumably a fair number of them are also trying to find out why he carries an umbrella.

However, if you fancy getting in touch with a lesser being, like a person you met in a bar or whatever, then it will cost around 70p (unless you have mutual friends, in which case that round of flirting will still be free).

Facebook says the scheme is intended to "prevent spam while acknowledging that sometimes you might want to hear from people outside your immediate social circle" - although there are ways to prevent spam that don't involve creaming off a tenner a pop, we would say.

As for pricing: "We are testing a number of price points in the UK and other countries to establish the optimal fee that signals importance."

Getting in touch with diver Tom Daley currently sets trialees back £10.68, while author (and sometime actor) Salman Rushdie commands £10.08. Not everyone will be seeing the option yet - so if you're not in the trial, get your free celeb messaging in while you still can.

Meanwhile, if we hear back from Snoop on the burning issue of his umbrella usage, we'll let you know.

News Editor (UK)

Former UK News Editor for TechRadar, it was a perpetual challenge among the TechRadar staff to send Kate (Twitter, Google+) a link to something interesting on the internet that she hasn't already seen. As TechRadar's News Editor (UK), she was constantly on the hunt for top news and intriguing stories to feed your gadget lust. Kate now enjoys life as a renowned music critic – her words can be found in the i Paper, Guardian, GQ, Metro, Evening Standard and Time Out, and she's also the author of 'Amy Winehouse', a biography of the soul star.