Facebook Hints at Charging Users for Service

Written by  June 18, 2009

Facebook has been working on and is in the early stages of an internal payment system.

For a while now they have tried to work out a business plan that would generate revenue from its over 100,000,000 users. Lately word is stirring that they have hinted more at the possibility of charging users for their service. Exactly how remains to be seen but some thoughts have been possibly charging for the use of vanity urls (currently free so get one while they are) or even for allowing you to purchase credits that can be used to buy virtual goods from the third-party applications that run on the site, or from Facebook itself.

There has yet to be a full disclosure of the concept but it brings me to the new poll I’m running on the site (look to the right side of the screen and scroll down a bit in the navigation areas): “If Facebook began to charge for their service, would you still use it?”

Voice your opinion and let me know your thoughts.

****** UPDATE 1/15/10 ******

People, please take note of the original date of this post. The original date was June of 2009 (thus the reason you see no “poll in the right side of the page”—it’s long gone and was only there during June of 2009.) The report was based off of data gathered during that time period and merely passed on by me here. Not sure what has caused everyone to suddenly search for this online, but be aware that this original post is over a half a year old (funny how people’s search habits are.)

Here is a link to what apparently sparked the craze on the internet back then (early 2009) …
http://www.snopes.com/computer/internet/fbcharge.asp

Here’s what Facebook had to say about this way back during that time (Second QTR 2009):

Regarding the issue of whether Facebook would ever charge users for its social networking services, that company’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, said in an April 2009 Business Week interview that: “The answer is no, we are not planning on charging a basic fee for our basic services. Once again, that question stems from people thinking we’re growing so quickly, we’re running out of money. We’re growing really quickly, but we can finance that growth. We’re not going to charge for our basic services.”

Sources:
Business Week. “Sheryl Sandberg on Facebook’s Future.” , 7 April 2009.

Point taken, case closed.

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Comments

28 Responses to “Facebook Hints at Charging Users for Service”

  1. Jason Eyermann on June 20th, 2009 2:44 pm

    I am surprised not to see advertising from high profile companies other than this very dodgy spam like ads that appear. People spend a lot of time on Facebook.

  2. Eric on July 27th, 2009 5:37 pm

    Facebook does get in front of a lot of people but I’m not sure how “targeted” they can make their ad system (I’ve never tried it.)

    If it’s not sophisticated enough to target (although I would doubt this) based on demographics etc… then that could be the reason bigger companies don’t jump on board. They like to target the right groups so they get the biggest bang for their buck.

    Just a thought.

  3. jay galloway on October 28th, 2009 11:51 pm

    If Facebook started charging users I would be done with it for good and ever. Most people I know feel the same way. Don’t do it !

  4. Tiffany Rupp on October 30th, 2009 12:16 pm

    The purpose of facebook is so that people can touch base with each other inexpensively. If facebook starts to charge it’s users people will stop using it especially with the economy the way it is and everyone is cutting back on everything…. Why wouldn’t everyone go to a free site like my space if FB started to charge…. don’t do it a lot of people will quit….

  5. mark on November 4th, 2009 6:07 pm

    they say time to pay, most will say “cya facebook” including me.. pay for this? LOL they have to be kidding. don’t they generate enough from the stupid advertising??? Sure way to kill the site!

    Welcome to the world of greed……

  6. Chris Allen on December 6th, 2009 5:39 pm

    If Facebook did this it would go under. Everyone would leave and a new site would get made. Unless there’s another one already that would suddenly achieve prominence. If there’s something just as good for free, why use a pay site?

  7. Angel on December 19th, 2009 6:21 am

    MSN closed their groups and message boards down, so people moved to other places; some lost out on friendships, but most are carrying on as normal.

    If they wanted to charge for all my pages I would simply move over to elsewhere, there is already My Space.

  8. Tenna on December 20th, 2009 11:01 am

    Sure with all the slow loading, cant find the site, lost goodies, Cant access games, Cant get on the homepage. missing Friends and the list goes on. Why not pay for such poor service, NOT. I’ll move on if they start charging a fee to use their site. Facebook does Not have the Monopoly even if they think they do.

  9. Kevin on December 21st, 2009 3:05 am

    Would I pay for Facebook ? Simple answer NO.

  10. Karen Hardicker on December 21st, 2009 7:47 am

    If Facebook start charging users it would be the death of it. Stupid lot!

  11. Daniel Runfola on December 21st, 2009 9:56 am

    I don’t need or want Facebook that much to pay for it.

  12. matt on December 21st, 2009 6:56 pm

    Another typical greedy move from a site that so clearly is trying to undermind its followers! something that has become such a huge success, which started out free so (conveniently) decides to introduce charges for its services! I mean its not as if they dont make enough money from advertising!! im sure the founders of facebook are astronomically richer than me, but there is no excuse for what is blatantly out and out greed! the day facebook starts to charge will be the day i delete my account. And believe me facebook, i speak the minds of millions!!

  13. wanda on December 21st, 2009 9:23 pm

    i wont use facebook if they start to charge. i have a myspace account and it is free i’ll drop fb and stay with myspace.. its better anyway u can do things to your profile and show the real you.

  14. Anthony Dawson on December 21st, 2009 11:10 pm

    A way better idea is for facebook to pay their users something for all the great and entertaining materials that is posted on there!
    I’d be for a web site that runs a monthly draw and awards its users for being part of the community.
    As for charging people for using facebook? Don’t make me laugh! I’ll be the first one to set up a free facebook lookalike!

  15. Chris Lawley on December 21st, 2009 11:32 pm

    I use Facebook regularly but would drop it in the blink of an eye if I had to pay for it. I use it simply because my mates use it, but there are plenty of (free or better) alternative methods of communicating.

  16. Iain MacGillivray on December 22nd, 2009 5:23 am

    I can’t believe this is being suggested, given how tight peoples finances are.
    I do think it is an excellent way to cure peoples Facebook addictions however, like mine. I would definately leave and so would everyone i’ve spoken to so far.

    DON’T DO IT.

  17. James Wilson on December 26th, 2009 9:27 am

    No – absolutely not. An awful lot of people would just go back to Messenger, despite its shortcomings

  18. annie from Fremantle on December 27th, 2009 9:49 pm

    I wouldn’t use it. Another bright spark would come up with an idea to make a site similar to facebook and charge nothing. With time, people would gravitate there because they don’t want to pay for a service that was formerly free to all.

    It’s just greed.

  19. Paula Jones on December 28th, 2009 11:19 am

    GET REAL! Who makes the money off of us buying Farmville cash and paying to get advanced quicker?????? They are just like all the politicians, republicans and democrats. – — greedy, greedy, selfish, and deceptive. I won’t pay and neither will friends of mine I have talked to.

  20. Rob Dove on December 28th, 2009 2:37 pm

    Many FB users are on FB because myspace sucks, and classmates wants to charge you to find old friends. Enough people would pay to make it profitable, I suppose, but I won’t be one of them. Start compiling all your FB friends email addresses now. Just in case.

  21. kally on December 28th, 2009 3:47 pm

    there’s no way i wood still use FB if they started charging… the only reason i have one is cuz its free… other than that there’s nothing ‘Special’ about it… they will lose to may ppl if this is true… if the start charging they can kiss millions of ppl goodbye (including me!)

  22. Becky on December 29th, 2009 7:57 pm

    IF they start to charge, I’m going back to myspace! as much as they stink!

  23. kat on December 31st, 2009 9:52 am

    IT WOULD BE “BYE BYE” FACEBOOK IF THEY STARTED CHARGING!!!!!!!

  24. Concerned Canadian on January 8th, 2010 1:03 pm

    If they charge all ads should stop why would I pay to be advertised to.

    BAAAAAD Model

  25. Shari Shovels on January 8th, 2010 2:25 pm

    Reletively speaking, facebook is a way for most people to communicate with other people in other states without the high costs of phone bills and such. Most people in this economy are cutting back and would they pay for an unnecessity in their life, not a chance. There are far more other sites that still go on free of charge, and there would be a mass exeduce from facebook, they would not have a clue what happened. Think about it, if there is a family of four that each have their own account, would they shell out the money to keep all accounts open, not a chance. Whomever is in charge of marketing for facebook should definately lose their job.

  26. Crystal on January 11th, 2010 3:05 am

    I can’t find the poll but if Facebook starts charging I will NOT use it and will demand a refund from the games I play that I have put money into.

  27. jebba street on January 15th, 2010 1:19 am

    YES do it, I cannot wait for the downfall of Facebook! It’s run it’s course now, everyone is sick of it, but everyone is slave to it. They don’y give you enough control and change your pages all the time without warning. Myspace is YOUR space, you have much more freedom! I only use FB out of necessity, otherwise if I had a choice I wouldn’t bother!

    Their customer service is awful, not once have they ever replied to my concerns! I’m sick of that Marc Zuckerberger, he’s supposed to be a genius coder, yet it never works half the time, it’s so painful to use I give up a lot of the time! Plus he stitched a lot of people up to get to where he is now, he owes other people for his success.

    I say charge, then FB will finally disappear forever and it’ll make a lot of people happy! All someone has to do is create a similar site that’s interactive, but gives you more freedom to personalise your space. Facebook currently sucks bigtime!

  28. Georgette Wood on February 2nd, 2010 6:56 pm

    I will be one of the people that will be dropping FB, if FB starts charging people to use their site. Everyone is money hungry now a days and it’s ridiculous. I think they get paid enough considering that people pay them for advertisement on there page.

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