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Facebook allows UK users to chat with celebrities

By Arthur Jackson
On April 18, 2013

Facebook is testing a new feature in the United Kingdom that gives users the option to pay to send messages to celebrities.
For a maximum price of £10.68, or $16.32, you can send messages to any celebrity on Facebook. The price varies from person to person. For example, messaging Snoop Lion would cost £10.08, or $15.40.
"I feel like that it wouldn't actually get to the celebrities," Brandon Smith, senior biology major, said. "So many people would be doing it for people like Justin Bieber that there is no way that kid could read them all. Even with the less popular celebrities, how are you going to be sure that they read it? It seems like a rip off to me. I wouldn't use it."
Facebook said the system they have in place of paying to message non-friends is designed to prevent spam. However, sometimes people benefit from hearing outside their immediate social circle.
"We are testing a number of price points in the UK and other countries to establish the optimal fee that signals importance," Facebook announced. "Part of that test involves charging higher amounts for public figures, based on the number of followers they have."
An algorithm that takes into account the number of followers someone has and the number of messages being sent determines the cost. It will be payable by credit or debit cards online. The required age for this service is 18.
The system was introduced to only 10 percent of Facebook users in Britain at the end of March with the plans of introducing it to the rest of the country soon.

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