Paying to message celebs on Facebook

By James Cook

Facebook lets you pay to reach the inbox of practically anyone on the site. It’s a way of deterring spammers from contacting large numbers of people out of their network. If you don’t pay and you don’t have mutual friends with someone, your message will go to the practically-hidden “Other” folder to languish for eternity.

We decided to splash some cash and pay to send messages direct to the inboxes of the rich and famous. As well as paying to message celebrities, we also messaged those who were free to contact in case there’s a difference. Here’s what happened.

Choosing the right message

The most important thing about contacting celebrities is getting the message right. Since we were paying for these, we refined what we would send through a process of science and guesswork. Eventually, we settled on two separate components: the word “Important” and a slightly pixellated photograph of a cat standing up. With our plan of attack sorted, it was time to enter our card details and choose some celebrities to message.

The Shopping list

Every celebrity falls into a different price bracket on Facebook, with just over £9 being the most expensive and some celebs going for mere pennies. Here’s our line-up sorted by price:

Shopping list

Zooey Deschanel – £3.09 (unseen)

At a cheap three pounds, messaging Zooey Deschanel is affordable for all. Unfortunately, it seems that Zooey never checks her messages because she never saw our charming cat photo. Oh well. She wasn’t even that good in Bridge to Terabithia.

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Ashton Kutcher – £9.21 (seen)

Russia Kutcher
Finding Ashton Kutcher’s actual profile is difficult as he uses his real name on Facebook. However, we found a profile that is connected with his Quora account, which is connected with his verified Twitter account. A Plus K, as he likes to be called now, is in the most expensive price bracket for Facebook messages. However, our financial outlay was worth it because Ashton actually saw our cat photo. He didn’t reply, though. Presumably he’s busy disrupting something.

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Larry Summers – £0.61 (unseen)

He might not have made any rom-coms, but Larry Summers has a pretty distinguished career: President of Harvard University, Chief Economist at the World Bank, Secretary of the Treasury, managing partner at hedge fund D. E. Shaw & Co., Director of the White House United States National Economic Council…

Costing just 61 pence to message, we wonder why everyone doesn’t drop Larry Summers a message when they need financial advice. Or maybe they do, because he never saw our cat photo.

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Mark Zuckerberg – Free (seen)

Luckily we didn’t have to drop any cash on messaging Zuck, our mutual friend meant that we could get to the top of his inbox for free. Now how long do you think it took for him to read our message? An hour? A couple of days? After all, he’s a busy man and the message was sent late at night for him. Mark Zuckerberg saw our cat pic within seven minutes. Ah, the wonders of social media.

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Randi Zuckerberg – Free (seen)

If Zuck himself wouldn’t reply to us, we decided to try his sister instead. Sadly, she was too busy promoting her children’s book about why Facebook is bad, although she did at least see the message. Hopefully it brought a smile to her face. Hi Randi!
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Mike Tyson – £9.21 (unseen)

Our card was declined when we tried to message Mike Tyson on Facebook.

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Half an hour on the phone with the bank later and we were able to pay just shy of £10 to send the boxing champ an “Important” message. He never even saw it.

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Mark Cuban – £9.21 (seen)

Mark Cuban has done it all: entrepreneur, investor, Shark Tank star, owner of the Dallas Mavericks. You can send him a note of your choosing for £9.21 and he’ll probably read it. It’s what celebrities have grown to expect.

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Jeremy Lin – Free (unseen)

Now that Linsanity™ (yes, he trademarked it) has died down, US basketball star Jeremy Lin is spending his time posting dull selfies on Facebook. We decided to spice up his life with a photo of a cat standing up. It’s free to message Super Lintendo© on Facebook so it probably went straight to his ‘Other’ inbox. He never read it, so we’ll sit out Linsanity: The Movie (yes, really).

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Pat Cash – £0.65 (seen)

Retired tennis person Pat Cash doesn’t really do much with his time nowadays other than write about when he used to play tennis. We decided that it was worth the price to liven up his life with a fun cat pic. He’s cheap, too. Everyone should do this.


Nicolas Sarkozy – Free (unsent)

Why? Why has Nicolas Sarkozy blocked us on Facebook? What did we ever do to the former President of France? We don’t know, but we can’t even send him a friendly message to make up for it. Rude.

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Sean Parker – Free (unseen)

You may know of Sean Parker from that time he founded Napster, that time he helped out at Facebook, that time he joined Spotify or that time Justin Timberlake played him in The Social Network. We “pinged” Sean Parker with our cat photo and waited for a response. We’re still waiting.

Katie Couric – Free (unseen)

Katie Couric is continuing her domination of the US news media by becoming a global news anchor for Yahoo News. With this being such an important time in her life, it was perfect for us to drop her a message. Again, we were ignored. What if we had sent an important news tip? This is a serious issue.

50 Cent – Free (unseen)

We had hoped that messaging Fiddy would open a dialogue with him allowing us to discuss what happened when Mike Tyson’s bodyguard shot him nine times at close range. Sadly it seems that the only option for contacting the rapper is languishing in his “Other” folder with a free message.

Snoop Dogg – £0.61 (unseen)

There must be something about rappers and never checking their Facebook messages. Snoop Dogg’s personal “Calvin Broadus” Facebook account has millions of followers but he hasn’t posted there in months.

Chad Johnson – £0.61 (unseen)

Our last message before giving up and abandoning harassing celebrities forever was NFL star Chad Johnson. Formerly known as Chad Ochocinco, Johnson has been named one of the “Most Influential Athletes In Social Media”. He can’t be that influential because it only cost us £0.61 to get into his Facebook inbox. Money well spent? No, even NFL stars don’t read their Facebook messages.
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