Facebook’s secret revenue plans revealed

How is Facebook going to save its IPO and rake in oodles of cash? I've uncovered the secret. (Hint: It's not by charging $100 to send email to Mark Zuckerberg.)

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Think you can chat up the world’s 36th richest man for free? You got another thing coming, homeboy.

As has now been widely reported, Facebook is experimenting with a revenue generating scheme that charges some users money to gain access to the rich, famous, and/or beautiful.

Yesterday, Mashable’s Chris Taylor – who is apparently stalking Mark Zuckerberg  – captured the following screenshot, which asked him for $100 in exchange to gain electronic access to the Boy in the Hoodie:

Image: Mashable. Thanks, Pete!

Taylor wrote:

Keen Facebook observers will recognize this as a variant on the $1 pay-to-message plan that the social network has been experimenting with for months. The company indicated at the time that it would be experimenting with other prices, so it's possible we're starting to see the fruits of that….

Here's what Facebook had to say in a statement from a spokesperson: "We are testing some extreme price points to see what works to filter spam."

The idea of charging money for email delivery to make spam unprofitable is not an original one. But a hundred simoleons? That’s a new twist. Where can I get in on some of that action?

For the record, I just sent Zuckerberg a message (I wanted to know where he bought his hoodies) and it didn’t cost me one thin dime. But Facebook also didn’t give me the option to bypass the “Other” inbox that 99.999 percent of Facebook users, including me, have never noticed before. So perhaps this is a random test, to see if anyone might be willing to pony up serious coin for a few nanoseconds of a billionaire’s attention. Or maybe he just likes me better.

It does bring up the eternal question, though: How is Facebook going to raise large sacks full of shekels to please its shareholders? The answer might lie in the mystery announcement Facebook has planned for next Tuesday, January 15.

Image: Slashgear. Thanks, Chris!

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