Facebook testing $100 charge to message to non-friends

FILE - In this Feb. 11, 2011 photo, a Facebook page is seen on a computer in Montpelier, Vt. Following on the popularity of sites like Groupon, Facebook is launching its own daily deals program Tuesday, April 26, 2011 in five U.S. cities. The social network hopes to exploit the peer-to-peer aspect of group buying when it begins testing offers in San Diego, San Francisco, Austin, Atlanta and Dallas.
AP Photo/Toby Talbot

Updated 4:30 p.m. ET

Facebook is testing out a feature that charges users $100 to send direct messages to strangers on the social network.

When attempting to send Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg a message, the blog Mashable claimed it got a message that read: "You aren't connected to Mark on Facebook, so your message would normally get filtered to his Other folder."

The message sender was given two options: "Send this message to his inbox for $100" or "Just send this message to his Other folder."

Facebook's messaging system is set up so that only users' friends can send private messages that will get delivered to inboxes. All other messages get filtered to a folder called "Other."

Facebook told CBS News in a statement: "We are testing some extreme price points to see what works to filter spam."

CNN reported that the charge to send a message also applied to Facebook COO Sheryl Sandburg and CFO David Ebersman.

Facebook is already testing a feature that would charge user $1to have a message delivered to the inbox of anyone on the social network. The company says charging for messages may discourage spam. 

In a December 2012 press release, the social network said it was experimenting with the "usefulness of economic signals to determine relevance."