We've all been there before:
Stalking an ex on a Tuesday night -- drunk, writing a tearful Facebook message -- then deciding it comes on way too strong and settling instead on a solid "sup".
We know it will end up in her "Other" box -- but we write it anyway. Except this time, hold on...
Facebook is now allowing users to pay to send messages to people who would otherwise want nothing to do with them -- Mark Zuckerberg, Mila Kunis, Obama, you name it.
The catch: the more popular the recipient, the higher the price.
Up until now, Facebook merely had an "Other" mailbox for undesirables, which was the email equivalent of casting your message into a black hole.
Now anyone with enough cash can pay to be ignored.
"This policy may seem like an arbitrary grab for cash," said lead Facebook strategist Susan Winterman, "but I can assure you -- this time it isn't.
"Just think of it as a postage stamp -- or maybe a tax on being unpopular."
The move has been lauded by Wall Street analysts as a creative way for Facebook to fill in revenue gaps.
"What we realized is we have this huge untapped potential of lonely, depressed users who are dying to get the attention of that famous person whose movie they've seen a hundred times," Winterman continued.
"We expect to make billions off Robert Pattinson fangirls alone."
Do What Works
The new feature was modeled after a very successful policy adopted at Facebook headquarters early last year.
"In an effort to improve worker morale and cut down on complaints," said Matt Stewart, head of human resources, "Zuckerberg began charging dissatisfied employees a listening tithe for approaching the throne."
Morale improved overnight.
"And once we added the mote and opened it up for swimming, complaints dropped by 95%." Stewart added. "It was only a matter of time before we started applying these policies to Facebook as a whole."
The Street reacts
Detractors have pointed out apparent shortcomings with the system. For example, even if you pay Zuckerberg to send him a message, there's still no way to pay him to read it.
But Facebook doesn't see this as a problem.
"In fact, that's the core functionality of the feature," Stewart said, winking. "We're charging users to communicate with a void. And as you know, voids have no marginal costs."
Wall Street showed its support for the new strategy this week by pushing Facebook's stock back over $30. And analysts are already speculating on the feature's next iteration.
"A premium charge for leaving Zuckerberg voicemails he never listens to would be the obvious next step," said one analyst.
"Or a mid-range charge for yelling into the wind."