A new messaging update from Facebook guarantees that your message will get to people who likely donâ€™t want to hear about you, provided you pay $1 per message. This feature has been rolled out since Thursday for US accounts only.
Up until now, whenever a user receives a message, Facebook computes a score for it, based on social cues such as connections between friends, paired with anti-spam and anti-bot verifications mechanisms. If a message meets the standards, it lands into the userâ€™s inbox, otherwise it gets routed to the â€œOthersâ€ folder, whose contents are not displayed by default, because they are deemed as spammy.
“This test is designed to address situations where neither social nor algorithmic signals are sufficient,” Facebook said in a blog post. “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.“
While the explanation makes sense on paper, Facebookâ€™s motivation seems to be driven by financial reasons, rather than by security concerns. By granting virtually anyone a clear way to the Inbox, the program could facilitate phishing and malware distribution from attackers outside the friends (or friends of friends) list.