Content Marketing Blog

Pay to send directly to inbox: Facebook testing new messaging function

The messages function on Facebook has gone through a number of notable changes in the last few years, improving its use on the web and mobile devices.

Messages are now displayed in 'one ongoing conversation' so that all your correspondence (messages, chat, emails and text messages) are combined, regardless of whether they've been sent from desktop or mobile.

This makes for more streamlined reading of messages, rather than trying to piece bits of a conversation together!

There's also the 'Other' folder within the Facebook messages function – introduced in 2011 – where less relevant messages are directed.

"Facebook Messages is designed to get the most relevant messages into your Inbox and put less relevant messages into your Other folder. We rely on signals about the message to achieve this goal," Facebook wrote in a blog post yesterday (December 21).

People wanting to get their message sent directly to the Inbox folder of a person they aren't friends on Facebook with or don't know, may be able to skip their message being filtered in the Other folder.

Facebook also announced that they were starting an experiment that will give a small group of people the option to pay to have a message sent to the Inbox rather than the Other folder of the recipient they aren't connected with.

Social and algorithmic signals are used to help determine relevance in which message goes where, with the test designed to address situations in which "neither social nor algorithmic signals are sufficient".

Facebook wrote that several researchers and commentators have noted that imposing a cost for the sender may be the "most effective way" to repress unwanted messages and deliver those that are useful and relevant.

"For example, if you want to send a message to someone you heard speak at an event but are not friends with, or if you want to message someone about a job opportunity, you can use this feature to reach their Inbox," Facebook posted.

"For the receiver, this test allows them to hear from people who have an important message to send them."

Posted by April Revake.