Facebook is to charge users up to £10 a time to contact people outside of their friends' network.The social networking site is likely to charge between 70p and £10 to message people who are not "friends" - with the top price reserved for contacting celebrities.
Facebook says it is introducing the payments to prevent spam being sent to users of the network.
However, some analysts fear that it marks the start of what will become a more entrenched payment scheme for the social media site.
At present, users can message anyone who uses the website for free. However, messages to non-friends go to the "other" email box and are treated as spam.
But these latest changes will allow users to pay to prioritise their emails, sending them directly to the main inbox of their prospective friends.
There's even the option to pay more to grab the attention of your favourite celebrity, with the charge levied on a sliding scale depending on their fame and popularity.
The scheme has already been tested in the United States.
However, a feature that allowed users to contact the most high-profile celebrities (including Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg), for a fee of $100 (£65), was abandoned.
A spokesman for Facebook said: "The system of paying to message non-friends in their Facebook inbox is designed to prevent spam, while acknowledging that sometimes you might want to hear from people outside your 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. Part of that test involves charging higher amounts for public figures, based on the number of followers they have. "This is still a test and these prices are not set in stone."Experts believe that by getting consumer’s credit card details for small purchases now, it means that they will be able to attract greater revenue in the future. Olly Mann, a gadget columnist, said:
"This is probably a prelude to something much more substantial."If they can charge for smaller features,their hope is that they can start charging for main features later on."