You’ve seen the hoaxes for years about Facebook charging it’s users for using their otherwise free service. I’ve seen posts go as far as to say that Mark Zuckerberg made some big announcement on TV or that someone saw it on local news that they were going to start charging us to use Facebook. That’s not true. HOWEVER, Facebook has now opened the door to charging it’s users if they want.
You ask HOW?
They’ve begun to introduce ads in the middle of videos that interrupt the content to play a commercial from an advertiser. Facebook announced they would start doing it earlier this year and it’s finally beginning to happen and users are noticing. By doing this they are opening the option to have Facebook users subscribe to their site to remove ads. Let’s be serious, nobody LIKES watching commercials before or during a video they’re interested in watching.
As YouTube has offered YouTube “Red” to their visitors as a way to bypass commercials on videos they want to watch I believe Facebook is setting the table for the option. This doesn’t mean they would charge you to log on and see your page or interact with your friends but rather they will give you an option to pay for something in order to have a better experience. It makes perfect sense to me that Facebook would try to find a way to cash in on it’s billions of users beyond the advertising option. If they could develop a subscriber system that would drive their worth even more; thus, putting more money in the pockets of the founders.
That answer is simple, it’s because the tech companies and web companies are all jockeying for position to become the most powerful company with the most amount of information about individual users. They want to know as much as they can about their users so they can sell our data to the highest bidder. The more data, the higher the price, the more money the company is worth, the higher the value of stock in the company. It’s all about money. They want to trade our desire to have a ad free experience for a few dollars.
A good example would be the games people play for free like 8 ball pool or Farmville. They let you play for free but ALWAYS offer you some sort of buy-in option. Whether it’s more lives on Candy Crush or it’s more spins on the lucky wheel, there’s an option and people are paying for it or else they wouldn’t be offering it. When they toss up offers of a few cents for some more gameplay users will jump all over it. Especially, if someone spends an ample amount of time trying to achieve goals on the app they’re using they’ll be glad to spend a little bit for a better experience.
First, it’s not a certainty it’s going to happen but if it is going to happen I’d expect to see it by this time next year. They’ve only recently introduced ads into their videos as of late and they consider it a “test run” but once they draw up any kind of plans for the evolution of their product it’s just a matter of time before they execute.
I hope this doesn’t happen but at the same time I wouldn’t be surprised if they pulled the trigger. With as many users as they have and with as much content the site provides to every day people like you and I, it’s almost inevitable. They are probably hesitant to scare off users by mentioning anything revolving around “payments” but now that you can pay for something with your thumb through Apple Pay or some other simplistic mode of transaction it’s just a matter of time.
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