I was quite surprised the other day as I was trying to send a private Facebook message to a business prospect when all of a sudden, the following interface popped up on my screen:
I had never heard of Facebook charging $1.00 to send messages to another user’s primary inbox before. I know why they are doing it and I know why they are picking on me, but more thought needs to go into the use of this Facebook revenue generator.
I use Facebook to network for business and social activities but mostly for business. Every day I try to increase the size of my networking sphere, legitimately, without the intention of slamming my sphere with marketing. We have all seen the people who are constantly slamming us with their business opportunities. Yes I feel we need protection from people like that. We have the opportunity to report spammers.
So, I am part of a real estate technology group on Facebook. I interact within this group and when attending the various conferences around the country each year I recognize some of these people and want to friend them. However, I have learned that Facebook is more touchy then they used to be if somebody turns down a friend request. I have had people turn down my request because they had a brain fart and forgot who I was.
Recently I was suspended from Facebook for 8 days when I only try to add around 8 friends a month. During this 8 days I could not friend people or message them. A well known real estate marketing leader, highly respected in the real estate community asked me to contact a friend of his on Facebook about creating a real estate website for him. His e mail address was not published and because I could not send him a private message, I had to find other ways to get his contact information.
It was after this suspension that I tried to message a client of mine and the above message popped up asking me to spend a dollar to send a message to his primary inbox. I do very little FB private messaging and I have never prospected to anybody that was not already a friend so there is no reason to penalize me in this way.
What have I learned from all of this? Make sure the individual you are friending knows you will be asking them to be your friend. Or, use the private messaging feature to ask them to friend you. Be careful because you may get penalized for trying to friend your wife. If you are being charged to dent private messages by Facebook, spend the dollar or find another way to contact them.