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Expensive Chat launched as a ‘social experiment’

A new internet chat service has been launched, but there’s an interesting twist.

Expensive Chat, launched by entrepreneur Marc Köhlbrugge, will charge you a cent for every character you use.

On the face of it, you wouldn’t think that it would really catch on. Though, rather surprisingly, scores of people are starting to join in!

Since Köhlbrugge’s tweet announcing its inception was picked up by Motherboard, and now further world media outlets, it’s got a lot of attention.

Now there’s even talk about celebrities getting involved. The name Kanye West has been mentioned, quelle surprise!

Discussion is also mounting about the possibility that, in the future, users can choose where their money goes. After all, it could do charities a lot of good. Presently the cash is reportedly going directly to the creator, as the Verge reports.

So, what is Expensive Chat?

Köhlbrugge announced the birth of Expensive Chat in a tweet on Thursday February 28.

“Excited to launch my latest product today!” he wrote. “Expensive Chat – Chatroom where you pay $0.01 per letter.

“It’s a social experiment to see what happens to a chatroom when it’s not a free-for-all, but every message cost you cold, hard cash.”

Expensive Chat has been launched as a social experiment. Credit: Pexels

Expensive Chat has been launched as a social experiment. Credit: Pexels

Essentially, the site has a leader board which shows those who have spent the most money at the top. To the side is the mass chatroom where everyone can see each other’s messages.

At the bottom of the page is a box where you compose your message. Then once you are happy with it you can submit and pay. Stripe, debit and credit cards are accepted.

What’s the Expensive Chat community like so far?

There have been some cordial interactions, including an impromptu game of Rock Paper Scissors. Yet, perhaps not surprisingly, there have also been a lot of ads for services and companies!

Despite the payment element, many users are trying to achieve visibility in a plethora of ways. As The Verge reports, many have gone with the straightforward tactic of “more is more” in order to appear at the top of the leaderboard. Others have given small summaries of their services, followed by a URL.

You can watch the full correspondence, and the money rise, at: expensive.chat

Alternatively, if you want to send messages without paying to do so, check out FileHippo’s catalogue of solutions!

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