In testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee, Mark Zuckerberg made reference to a version of Facebook which would require a paid subscription. Here is coverage by The Wall Street Journal.
Essentially, that would be a paywall. The concept is becoming standard.
Even The New Yorker now has a paywall. After reading a certain number of articles free, access is cut off for that month – unless there is a paid subscription.
Earlier during damage control, Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg also discussed how a high level of privacy would have to have a price. That might have been the lead-in for Zuckerberg’s testimony.
One wonders what proportion of Facebook’s two billion users would pay to play.
Because it is a free hangout I have been willing to endure the many negatives of participating in Facebook. Also, for many of us it’s a professional necessity to be on that social network (along with Twitter, LinkedIn, Snap, and Instagram. […]
Facebook offering a paid version shouldn’t really come as a huge surprise to everyone as it’s essentially another revenue channel for them. I am not sure how much privacy protection you’ll receive with a paid version of FB but it’s safe to assume that you’ll see less ads when using the service.
In fact, offering a paywall will actually help FB make more money from the ads they sell. Right now the cost of advertising on FB is tiny compared to advertising on other media platforms.
If ads won’t be displayed to users who are paying to use FB then it means advertisers will have to compete with other advertisers to reach those who are using the free version of FB.
Supply and Demand.
FB will still be able to offer the same level of targeting to advertisers but those advertisers will now have a smaller audience to reach. FB ad prices will rise dramatically and will continue to do so as more people start using the paid service.