Facebook investigating public interest in subscription-based version of site

midian182

Posts: 6,187   +51
Staff member

Questions over whether Facebook will one day introduce an ad-free subscription version have been around for years. Now, it seems the social network could be moving a little closer to this option, as it’s reportedly been conducting market research to gauge the public’s interest.

Facebook has examined adding a paid-for version of the platform in the past, but in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal and other privacy controversies, the company is reportedly stepping up its plans.

According to Bloomberg, Facebook has been investigating whether paying a monthly or yearly fee to avoid ads would encourage more people to join the social network. Those familiar with the matter did stress that nothing is set in stone, and the plans might not move forward.

Facebook’s executives haven’t ruled out the possibility of subscriptions. “We certainly thought about lots of other forms of monetization including subscriptions, and we’ll always continue to consider everything,” said Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, during the company’s first-quarter earnings call.

Despite its recent controversies, Facebook’s revenue was up 49 percent YoY in Q1 2018 to $11.97 billion. Ad revenue made up $11.8 billion of that, and 91 percent was from mobile.

Facebook’s ad targeting practices is one of the reasons why people have been leaving the site recently, but it’s unclear how many would be willing to pay a subscription fee to avoid advertisements. It’s likely that people who hate ads would prefer not use Facebook at all. But one thing's for certain: you’ll never be forced to pay for the service. As Mark Zuckerberg said during his congressional testimony, “There will always be a version of Facebook that is free.’’

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Trillionsin

Posts: 1,879   +465
I think if it became paid for it would be the incentive for me to kick the facebook habit.
But one thing's for certain: you’ll never be forced to pay for the service. As Mark Zuckerberg said during his congressional testimony, “There will always be a version of Facebook that is free.’’
So you either kick it now, or not at all. Why does this change your preference?
 

sac39507

Posts: 333   +151
I think if it became paid for it would be the incentive for me to kick the facebook habit.
But one thing's for certain: you’ll never be forced to pay for the service. As Mark Zuckerberg said during his congressional testimony, “There will always be a version of Facebook that is free.’’
So you either kick it now, or not at all. Why does this change your preference?
cause money talks
 
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Polycount

Posts: 2,699   +566
Staff member
I don't use Facebook, but the broader question of "would you pay for an online service that you use frequently to prevent your data being harvested?" would get a definite "yes" from me.

If I had to choose between an ad and data collection-free Facebook that I pay a small monthly fee for and the exact opposite, I'd choose the former.

But that's just me. Money is tight, after all, and some people would definitely leave the platform if they were forced to pay for it.
 

JamesSWD

Posts: 331   +184
People would pay for it if it also included some enhanced services, much like Outlook email offers more for the paid version. Just depends on the user. A lot of businesses rely on FB for advertising and customer relations, so they'd go for it if enhanced business services were included.
 

jobeard

Posts: 13,987   +1,783
Many here are just too young to remember or have experience with landline service which offered both Party and Private Service. Calls outside your prefix area were more expensive and outside your area code were phenomenal.
  • (area code)-prefix-local_number
We all look for unlimited text & data with our cell providers and if we can't get that, we highly regulate our usage to not break the piggy-bank.

As long as FB is free, it will remain (forgive me) the toilet paper of communications. When/if users need to pay-for-service, then things will cleanup quite naturally. Same can be said of YouTube - - anybody can and does publish anything and little is meaningful IMO.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 5,491   +3,588
I do not use fakebook and have no need for it.

Hypothetically, if I could pay for an ad free fakebook, why would I? uBlock origin does the trick pretty well.

However, I would be highly surprised if paying a subscription fee would keep fakebook from harvesting data and selling it to the highest bidder. Fakebook has always had this option from day one; however, they failed to implement it even though there have always been privacy concerns on the part of fakebook users.

This is fakebook trying to plug the holes in a leaking ship. I simply do not trust fakebook to be interested in anything other than lining the pockets with money in any way that they can. Only now when the ship is sinking are they even remotely considering the privacy of their customers though it has been a concern since fakebook day one of at least some of their customers. Fakebook's actions, especially with regard to not deleting user data even after user's delete their accounts, show they do not care about their customers' privacy concerns. Also, what they say publicly appears to differ from what goes on in their boardroom.

IMO, fakebook is not worthy of my trust, or anyone's trust, for that matter, based on their past actions.
 
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senketsu

I'd pay to get rid of facebook.
I've never had an account, but perhaps it might reduce the phone zombies I encounter daily.
 
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Dimitrios

Posts: 686   +526
I would only pay for facebook if it included their own movie rentals and games sort of like a mix between NETFLIX / STEAM. I have so many idea's but I don't want Zuck stealing them unless we made an agreement with a lot of money involved ha ha.
 

sac39507

Posts: 333   +151
If you pay me, I'll listen to your problems too. In fact, I'll even pretend to care and respond with some caring advice.