So, would you, or wouldn’t you? Does a subscription to Facebook – a once free online social media platform – sound like something you’d invest in? If so, what’s the cut-off? How much would you be willing to pay in order to stay connected? And what about your friends? Family? Do you think they’d open up a subscription in order to keep logging in?
In response to the backlash Mark Zuckerberg has been facing regarding data privacy, Facebook is considering whether offering an ad-free subscription option would be a viable solution. This all stems from recent findings that the personal data found on many users’ profiles (more like, several million user profiles) has been unknowingly collected and sold to various ad agencies in hopes of better targeting desired markets.
The very presence of these targeted ads, however, are what make the site free for its users. Zuckerberg maintains, that even after learning of the various uses of their data, the general public, would still choose an ad-infused version of Facebook. “Overall,” he says, “I think that the ads experience is going to be the best one. I think in general, people like not having to pay for a service. A lot of people can’t afford to pay for a service around the world, and this aligns with our mission the best.”
If the company were to offer a non-ad subscription option, users would have to pay anywhere in the neighborhood of $7-$11 per month, depending on where they’re located. As it is right now, Facebook does allow users (and has for a while) to opt-in/out of some apps, which further stimulate the targeted ads.
So I ask you, ‘Would a subscription fee to use Facebook deter you from using the platform, or would it empower you with the ability to choose, and therefore entice you?’