by CIO Staff

AOL, Yahoo to Charge E-Mail ‘Postage’

Feb 06, 20062 mins

America Online and Yahoo, two of the world’s biggest powerhouse e-mail providers, have announced plans to start charging companies between a quarter of a penny and one cent for special e-mail privileges, The New York Times reports.

Said privileges allow mail from paid senders to bypass a number of spam filters that could potentially lose or alter the sender’s intended message, allowing for faster delivery. 

The senders must contact only people who have previously agreed to receive messages, or they could be blocked completely, The Times reports.

AOL and Yahoo say the move will make it easier to identify legitimate mail, and in turn, cut down on the number of spam messages sent and scams executed.

“The last time I checked, the postal service had a very similar system to provide different options,” Nicholas Graham, an AOL spokesperson, told the AP.  He noted the service is similar to certified mail “where you really do get assurance that if what you send is important to you, it will be delivered, and delivered in a way that is different from other mail.”

Both companies will continue to accept mail from senders who haven’t paid, but these messages will still be filtered for spam.  Messages from AOL users who’ve paid the fee will be sent straight to recipients’ main inboxes and will not have to pass through filters.  Mail that comes from a sender in a user’s address book will not be treated as spam, as is currently the case.

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