Facebook should charge users for the privilege of accessing an ad-free version of the social service, one of Twitter’s co-founders has suggested.
With the world’s largest social networking site having come under repeated criticism for its heavy pushing of targeted advertising on users’ news feeds and through a selection of other prime locations across the site, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone has suggested that an ad-free Facebook Premium option with a monthly fee could be the way to go.
Claiming that “ads on Facebook don’t seem particularly useful or engaging,” Stone, who now heads a new start-up company, has stated that a “Facebook Premium for $10 a month” would not only help hardcore Facebook users rid their pages of ads, but generate up to $1 billion in monthly revenue for Mark Zuckerberg’s company.
“People love Facebook. They really love it,” Stone said speaking via his official blog. “In general, the ads on Facebook don’t seem particularly useful or engaging. However, ads on the service are universally tolerated because that’s what makes Facebook free and free is nice.”
He added: “Anywhoo, now that I’m using it and thinking about it, I’ve got an idea for Facebook. They could offer Facebook Premium. For $10 a month, people who really love Facebook (and can afford it), could see no ads. Maybe some special features too.”
Although it is unclear what sort of ‘special features’ would be expected from users for a not inconsiderable monthly outlay, Stone added: “If 10 per cent of Facebook signed up, that’s $1B a month in revenue. Not too shabby.”
Far from a new idea, a number of big internet services currently adopt a similar platform with advertising subsidising a free service while a monthly charge gets rid of the ads. Spotify has famously made this set up work, with paid users able to make use of not only ad-free listening, but a range of additional features including mobile access.