I don’t think Facebook would ever charge, at least in the immediate future. They have plenty of investment capital, they’re bringing in money with advertising. The business model (is there a business model?) relies on getting as many people in to view advertisements. Charging for FB would reduce that number. There’s no reason for them to charge their users. None of their competitors charge users.
Yet, many of those users appear to be frightened of getting charged like it’s an inevitability.
But let’s say FB charged $15 a year for its services. Would that really be so bad? I think that’s reasonable – works out to under $2 a month.
Think of all the things one can use Facebook for:
- Writing blog posts and sharing links
- Upload and view photos from all your friends
- Keep up with all your friends and maybe make some new ones
- Plan your summer barbecue, birthday parties, or other social gatherings with Events
- Share similar interests with other like-minded people with Groups
On top of that, maybe a paid account gives you privileges like priority for requests and removes all site advertising. Isn’t that worth the money?
Apparently, no. FB isn’t as valuable as a CD. Or a book. Or a magazine subscription. Or a DVD you may only watch once. Or two tickets to the movies (before snacks). Not to some people.
Which is odd, I think, for the most popular destination on the internet. People visit this site every day. It’s become a part of their world. Yet, charge $2 a month for this service that’s clearly improved the lives of some people and it’s over.
When did we get so stingy? I’m not sure it’s that, because we are willing to pay for some things that cost as much or more, whether they’re needs or wants:
- Coffee everyday on your way to work
- $70 monthly cellphone plan with unlimited minutes (which you’d never use, because you’re on Facebook with it anyway)
- Drinks with friends
- Satellite TV
There’s a disconnect here. I think sometime in the past 15 years most of us learned that tangible goods are worth more than digital ones, or that tangible goods are the only ones worth paying for.