Facebook is one company that simply will not stop growing, and it seems that there is constantly more money to be made by the social network giant. The company has released so many tools for generating revenue and so much advertising potential that marketers continue to flock to Facebook for their marketing campaign solutions. Thus far, we have seen things like Sponsored Stories, Sponsored Posts, Page Post advertisements, Sponsored Facebook search results, the many mobile efforts from Facebook, and so much more. One feature on the network that has not in the past been tapped into for the generating of revenue is the Message function, which recently became more like a personal social media email account for users.

That all changed recently though, as Facebook began testing paid messages that will let users reach others with whom they are not connected through the message feature. According to eMarketer, the function holds potential in its new paid format that is being tested, for both consumers and brands.

In the results of a survey conducted by AYTM Market Research, reported in an eMarketer article, it appears that only about 13% of respondents said that they never use the message feature. However, about 35% of respondents said that they sometimes use Facebook Messages, and another 26% said they use the feature very often. So, it is a bit surprising that Facebook has waited this long to tap into the feature as a revenue generator, and with these numbers there is clearly money to be made. However, these Facebook messages work slightly differently for marketers and brands than they do for consumers.

The everyday Facebook user can send messages to anyone they so choose, without ever really having to pay for it. For brands, there is only the option of responding to a post from a user on a company or brand page via the message function or responding to a message that has been sent to them. Brands are not able to simply send messages all over Facebook to anyone they so choose. However, this is where paid messages will come in to play, as they will allow brands to do just that, for a price.

So, essentially after making the message feature more like a personal email service, Facebook will now allow their own type of email marketing on Facebook. In data from the Relevancy Group, shared in the article by eMarketer, we find that 55% of marketers are already using shared email content on social media as a main social marketing tactic, and 20% more planned to do so in the next year. So, this new paid message feature will most likely work out for Facebook.

In their article, eMarketer writes,

“If Facebook’s experiments with paid messages are successful and they result in increased consumer usage of the messaging function, it’s likely marketer demand for a similar paid function will grow. Now that marketers can pay to appear on a user’s newsfeed, the ability to send relevant and targeted private messages to likers of their brand—rather than simply respond to user posts or messages—may soon be on the horizon.”

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