Another Facebook Fail? For $1 Strangers Can Inbox You Anything!

By on January 10, 2013

Another Facebook Fail?

The Facebook marketing team has once again pushed the privacy envelope a little backwards, as they recently announced that marketers can pay $1 to inbox you. While still in its testing phase, this is another aggressive step in the ‘Facebook is becoming more ads than social’ crisis since their public offering last year. Is this a Facebook fail? Today I find out more.


The Facebook Marketing Fail That is Turning Heads

Facebook has always had privacy problems, since the very first moment it went live. You’ll often see fake spam from your friends every now and then, warning you that Facebook has once again changed its privacy functions, and now the world can see you drunk at that party – if you don’t rush to change the settings.

But what has really happened to this giant social network, since it went public last year? The Facebook marketing team is clearly taking a lot of strain from large investors, as advertising and testing of ad processes has shot up since that time.

Right now, all it takes for a small number of test users on Facebook to inbox you, is a measly buck. They don’t have to be your friend, or know you at all. Facebook real estate is plummeting, and everyone is starting to notice.

The Facebook marketing team needs to be careful how many spaces they fill with ads. Email was one of those hallow areas that were spam free. Facebook first released new policy guidelines that made it impossible for you to block messages from people you aren’t friends with. Now they’re testing this MASSIVE Facebook marketing fail.

Here’s why I don’t think people are going to love this idea, and why businesses won’t benefit from it at all.

  • People are unnaturally paranoid about stranger interaction on Facebook – they hate it. Hence the many Facebook marketing spam and privacy problem warnings that go viral.
  • People don’t like companies’ cold emailing their daily email addresses, why would Facebook make it so that people can do this to their social networking accounts?
  • Small businesses won’t be able to afford too many emails anyway, so there is no value here for them. The Facebook marketing team is targeting big spenders that spam A LOT.
  • It’s another ‘bad’ solution to a non-existent problem like the $7 it costs to send status updates directly to the top of friends feeds.
  • It comes in the wake of Facebook’s recent privacy policy reform that caused negative backlash, not to mention their privacy issues on Instagram.

It seems to me like this is a ploy by The Facebook marketing team to open yet another revenue stream, even though experts say it won’t earn them a lot of money. While the intended uses for this ‘innovation’ may be to allow a stranger to inbox you, because they met you at a conference or something relevant, it’s a hollow reason.


The Real Reason Facebook Allows $1 Emails

The real reason that The Facebook marketing team is testing this $1 email system is of course – money. Investors are nipping at the heels of the marketing team to earn more money, to find new paths that can be money spinners to boost their share value.

If a large corporation wants to directly reach 100,000 people with an advert, they could choose to do it on Facebook as part of their own Facebook marketing campaign. It would only cost them $100,000, and its extra functionality for the business. Everyone wins – oh, except the user.

If this moves past the testing phase, expect to see a whole lot more rubbish in your inbox. More proof that Facebook is going the same way as the old Myspace. Soon there won’t be any place for friend interaction, because of all the ad space!

How do you feel about getting ads direct to your Facebook inbox from strangers?

About John Souza

John Souza is founder and chief strategist of SMMU and Social Media Impact, and is a bestselling business author. He won the 2011 Tech Marketing Awards ‘Social Media Marketer of the Year’ and most recently the About.com Reader’s Choice Award for Best Online Education Site. John has appeared on The Michael Gerber Show, and his business has been honored at the Mashable Awards, Forbes Business Awards and The Stevie Awards.
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