Would You Pay To Use Facebook?

In 2009, Sheryl Sandberg the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook was interviewed and confirmed Facebook was “not planning on charging a basic fee” for its services. But then she also went on to say that Facebook “have no current plans to go public”.

That was 2009 however and I don’t think even Zuckerberg could have predicted the growth of the company since then. But if there has been a change in attitude towards making the company public, then could there have been inner discussions about charging for Facebooks services?

There has always been the problem how a ‘free service’ like Facebook generates money. Surely the easiest and most direct way of making money through Facebook would be to charge for a subscription service. But what would actually happen if such a thing was introduced?

So what would you be willing to pay to use features of Facebook, and how would you pay?

1. Pictures

You are likely to have hundreds, if not thousands of pictures stored. Facebook registration was opened to the public in September 2006 and most users have grown quite a collection in that time. Facebook has also become a place not only to archive, but share your photos with others. Would you pay to see your the pictures of you in your friends album they took on holiday?

Would you pay for it?

Likely

2. Chat

Facebook launched its chat platform in April 2008 as a rival to the already established and dedicated chat platforms such as MSN Messenger. Personally, I never use Facebook chat, but there are many who use it as a primary communication tool on a daily basis. Still, there are other alternatives around, and you are likely to chat to only a few core friends, which can be achieved through another platform.

Would you pay for it?

Unlikely

3. Business

Facebook has become an important marketing tool for many businesses. A social campaign I recently worked on was measured in its success by the number of ‘likes’ that a specific Facebook page had. These likes, guaranteed an audience for any marketing material distributed. Social campaigns to distribute content and build a customer base have become an important part of internet marketing, SEO companies investing time and money to make sure their clients have a big presence on Facebook.

Currently, anyone can set up a business page and promote it. The big money-maker here for Facebook is the option of selling you advertising to promote your page, although many choose to promote through other methods. Would businesses pay to have their page remain in the Facebook network?

Would you pay for it?

Most probably

Facebook’s shares were launched in a frenzy of excitement and were vastly overvalued. The problem for Facebook has always been how to generate income from its mammoth user base whilst remaining a free service. The dip in its shares and the lack of income compared to user growth has left a question mark about its future and whether subscriptions will come into play.

 

 

James Duval is an IT manager and technology expert. He currently writes blogs for Strategy internet Marketing.

Image Credit: Joe Wolf, Freedigitalphotos

3 Responses

  1. I’m going to have to respectfully disagree with your second point. I doubt that the amount of people who utilize facebook and its chat feature would uproot and move to another service. With the vast amount of interconnected friends, facebook has a stranglehold on the medium. It would be quite difficult to get a persons entire friend list to migrate to another platform just so they all could keep in touch.

  2. Not really. But switch completely to Google Plus.

  3. Shane Atkins says:

    I guess that I would pay to use Facebook if there was an option to opt out of seeing adverts. I wond

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