We have been spoiled by the Internet. Aside to paying a monthly fee to cable companies and the like to connect, we consider everything the Internet brings fair game. Rarely are we content with a price about “free” for the sites, content, and interactivity we consume on a daily, hourly basis.
But what if one of the most popular sites in the world – Facebook – started charging? Recently, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone suggested Facebook adopt a freemium model, where for a price, you would get a better experience. One without ads, or promoted posts that sit on top of your feed for days. Maybe with a better inbox system, or more photo storage, or without any mention of Candy Crush ever. If that were the case, would you pony up the $10 (or whatever) a month?
Instead of discuss the merits of freemium networks or how it could benefit Facebook or users (or how it would hurt them), we just decided to ask you. And the answers are pretty surprising.
So … would you pay for Facebook?
“I have been trying to quit Facebook so if they made it paid, it would really help me finally quit. Right now I use it when I am bored. But it doesn’t give me any real value.” – Alex Genadinik, founder of Problemio.com
“I would pay for Facebook. Facebook is such an integral part of our everyday lives now, and it is an important part of te marketing plan for small businesses as well. I would pay for Facebook if i had to in order to keep the access to friends, customers, and to find future customers. I would not even expect it to become advertising free, and it may not be a good thing if it chose that model for small businesses that rely on that as a part of their marketing campaigns … for me, personally, privacy policies are not the driving factor [behind] choosing which social media network to be on. I’d rather be where my friends, family, and customers are online.” – Hank Coleman, financial planner and personal finance writer at MoneyQandA.com
“I wouldn’t [pay for Facebook]. Even if it’s ad-free, I still wouldn’t because I use AdBlock for Chrome … the only reason I would pay for Facebook is to advertise on their network and bring traffic to my site. I’ve done this before and it works well.” – Chau Nguyen, dating coach/founder of The One Who Gets It
“I wouldn’t pay for Facebook unless it offered some amazing benefits … ad-free is a minimum, I’d want my profile and posts to be prioritized, depending on how much I paid per month. Some really detailed analytics of my FB fan page, [and] suggestions for boosting reach and on getting posts to go viral.” – Andrew Madeley, freelance writer, adventurer, public speaker
“No. I wouldn’t pay for Facebook, not even for [ad-free]. [Other social networks?] Perhaps LinkedIn. However, their current pricing is much too high; I participate on the free level … why should I pay for networking when I can do the same thing in groups and forums?” – LinDee Rochelle, author, editor, contributor
“I would have to say that I would not pay to use Facebook as it is now, and that I do not think it would have 1.5 bullion users if it began as a pay-to-use social network. I would pay a nominal monthly free – $7.99 a month – to remove all ads from my News Feed, and if Facebook offered exclusive paid-member benefits, such as exclusive promotions and offers for the company pages that I follow.” – Erin Cushing, account manager for inSegment
“I wouldn’t pay to use Facebook as it is now, but I already pay to advertise on Facebook. In order for me to want to pay for a social network, it would have to offer me more benefits as an advertisers. For example, being able to see when potential clients are searching for a fortune teller in my area so that I could proactively connect with such people. I already do that on Twitter for free, but I would pay if Facebook implemented that.” –Alexandra Chauran, fortune teller
“Would I pay for Facebook? The answer is probably no. At tis point I have been a Facebook user for over seven years and have gotten use to the free nature of Facebook. Facebook has never asked for my credit card info and has never led me to believe it would. Thus I have built an affinity for a free Facebook for which I do no pay and receive a lot of free value. I, of course, am aware, like all Facebook users, that Facebook is not truly free in that I am giving Facebook valuable personal information which they may use without my consent. The issue is that if Facebook attempts to change our relationship/agreement, both sides need to feel added value for a transaction to occur; basic behavioral economics. Unless Facebook comes up with a new and highly impressive value add not available through their current free version, current users will be unwilling to pay as the cost benefit does not make sense …
The ‘probably’ is in there for one reason: We are all sheep. If all of the sudden every single one of my friends was on there and paying, it would be difficult to stay on the sideline.” – Gilad Berenstein, CEO of Utrip.com
“There is no way I would pay for Facebook. I’m already uncomfortable being on the network, but I have an account because it’s what everyone uses to share what is going on. I had actually deleted my account, but after hearing that a friend was in the hospital from someone else who saw it on Facebook, I gave in and opened up a new account … [and] an ad-free Facebook is not enough of a selling point to get people to pay. If someone wants to eliminate ads, they can easily do it with browser extensions like AdBlock, Social Fixer, Greasemonkey scripts, etc.” – Blake Swopes, BhodiSoft
“I have two Facebook pages; a personal page to keep up with friends and relatives and one for my Vista Focus Micro-crystal fine art. I might pay to keep up with friends and relatives but most likely would not pay for my business page unless the model promote some way for me to increase my artwork’s visibility better than using other social media sites.” – Carol Roullard, artist
“I believe I’ve reached a tipping point where Facebook is such an integral part of my person and business life I would almost not have a choice but to pay for the service. Of course there is a limit to what I would pay and it would need to be on par with other services like Pandora paid radio; $5 a month or less would be my breaking point on price.” – Brian Graves, COO of KNGMP
“Yes, I would pay for Facebook. Not because I find it that valuable for my personal life, but it’s essential to my freelance writing work. I focus on travel and dining and visit Facebook multiple times a day to look for contact info or photos I can use online.” – Zach Everson, writer
“Yes, I would be willing to pay. I think Facebook should do two tiers: Free with ads, $1.99 a month without ads.” – Mike Foran, founder Mike Foran Public Relations
“I would pay if it were ad free and offered greater unfiltered reach for my posts to my friends and friends’ friends. But my guess is that most people wouldn’t.” – John McDougall, president and founder of McDougall Interactive
“I wouldn’t pay for Facebook. Most of the time it’s just voyeuristic and convenient. Where it is useful – for sharing photos and updates with close friends and family – I could probably come up with an alternative.” – Dominic Martin, Marketing manager for Data Track Technology
“At this point in time, certainly not Facebook, which in many ways feels like more of a right than a commodity. That feeling is partly a result of Facebook’s mission statement itself: “to make the world more open and connected”, as well as its plugin and social sign-in saturation of so much of the current web and mobile app eco-system. The irony in Facebook’s mission statement, however, is that much of its rollout sucess stemmed from pent-up demand. Because of this, I do believe that Facebook-specifically could have implemented a subscription model at a few points in its evolution.” – Matt Crumrine, CEO of Atmospheir
“I’d personally be hesitant to join a for-pay social network. I’m used to enjoying some amazing social experiences for free, like Instagram, Vine and Snapchat (or the music messaging experience we’ve recently created with Rithm!). That said, I think there could be interesting opportunities with a freemium model, allowing users to enjoy the basic service for free, but charging for special features or add-ons. In this case, the core experience would need to be compelling enough that users would be interested in enhancing it with small payments for stuff like in-app purchases or premium subscription features.” – Mike Wagman, founder and CEO of Rithm
“I would pay for an ad free experience or “power ups” within a social network. For instance, I would pay $1 annually for an ad free experience — I may even pay $1 a month for an ad free experience. I would also pay for power ups like stickers and filters. I’m a sucker for stickers, and I think a lot of people are.” – Kelsey Falter, founder and CEO of Poptip
“NO.” – Chris Barrett, founder of PRServe