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Facebook trialling premium messages to Mark Zuckerberg

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Facebook users involved in a US-based trial are being offered the option to message CEO Mark Zuckerberg for $100.

The social network is running a pilot scheme to test out means of monetising its services and reducing spam.

Mark Zuckerberg

© PA Images

Facebook Messenger application that does not require a Facebook account

© Facebook



"Several commentators and researchers have noted that imposing a financial cost on the sender may be the most effective way to discourage unwanted messages and facilitate delivery of messages that are relevant and useful," said Facebook of the trial.

Facebook began the trial by charging participants $1 to message users who are not on their friends list, and is now billing a far higher amount for the right to contact users dubbed "VIP" as the next phase of the test.

"We are testing some extreme price points to see what works to filter spam," said a Facebook spokesperson.

The VIPs, who consist of Zuckerberg and other public figures, will receive one message per week from a member of the public throughout the pilot.

Participating users who decline the $100 fee can still contact a VIP, but their message will be sent to their 'other' inbox, which is less prominent and checked less frequently.

The premium messaging trial, which began last month, marks the first time Facebook has charged users for any of its services.

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