Facebook is, at the present time, completely free to use. Anyone can sign up for the social network, create a profile, and connect with other people. The social network does make money though, mainly from the adverts on Facebook. I spend so much time on the Web I don’t notice adverts any more, but some people bitterly resent their presence.
Others, such as Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, think there are better business models for those willing to experiment. In a recent editorial he suggested Facebook start charging $10 per month for an ad-free version of the site. “If 10% percent of Facebook signed up,” he suggests, “that’s $1B a month in revenue.”
Stone is far from the first person to suggest this kind of business model for Facebook, and the rumor that Facebook will start charging has been the subject of various chain letters spread virally across the site itself over the years. Facebook states on its homepage, “It’s free and always will be,” but that shouldn’t stop us debating, “What if?“…
This Week’s Question…
We want to know, Would You Pay To Use Facebook? If you don’t use Facebook then this question will likely be of no interest to you, but with 1.2 billion users around the world there are certainly enough people who could potentially answer this question. As always we want more than a simple Yes or No response.
If Facebook was to start charging for its service, would you be one of those willing to stump up a monthly fee in order to keep using the site? Or if it headed the freemium route, with a free option sitting alongside a paid version, would you entertain the idea of paying to upgrade?
What features would Facebook have to offer to persuade you it was worth paying for? Would the removal of advertising be enough of a draw by itself? Or the opportunity to message celebrities without being charged? Or an improved smartphone app? What, if anything, would make Facebook worth paying for?
What do you think of Biz Stone for suggesting this idea (five years after the same notion went through everybody else’s mind) despite having founded a rival social network that also relies on advertising rather than charging for access? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
All comments will be digested to form conclusions in a follow-up post next week where we will detail what You Told Us. One reader will be chosen for the coveted Comment Of The Week, getting their name up in lights, the respect of other readers, and a T-shirt. What more motivation than that do you need to respond?
We Ask You is a weekly column dedicated to finding out the opinions of MakeUseOf readers. The questions asked are usually open-ended and likely to necessitate a discussion. Some are opinion-based, while others see you sharing tips and advice, or advocating tools and apps to the MakeUseOf readership. This column is nothing without you, as MakeUseOf is nothing without you.
Image Credit: Ksayer1