WILL you ever have to pay for Facebook? And more importantly, how much would it cost? Billionaire boss Mark Zuckerberg recently mooted the idea of a p
WILL you ever have to pay for Facebook? And more importantly, how much would it cost?
Billionaire boss Mark Zuckerberg recently mooted the idea of a paid-for Facebook, and one expert told The Sun it might actually happen.
Mark Zuckerberg hasn’t ruled out a paid Facebook app
How can Facebook be free in the first place?
Right now, Facebook is completely free. You don’t pay when you download it, and you don’t pay to use it.
That’s because Facebook serves you advertising when you log on.
Companies tell Facebook who they want to advertise to.
Then Facebook will charge those companies a fee, and show you their ads – generally based on your personal info.
You shouldn’t worry too much about this: Facebook doesn’t sell your data to other companies. It simply asks those other companies who they want to target, and then does it for them.
Getty Images – Getty Facebook doesn’t cost you any money – for now
For instance, if you like a skiing page on Facebook, it’s assumed you like skiing as an activity.
A ski company would then be able to pay Facebook to show you their ski gear – but the company never finds out who you are.
You can opt out of targeted ads, which means your data isn’t used to give you more relevant ads.
But you can’t opt out of ads completely.
What would a paid-for Facebook look like?
A paid-for version of Facebook would be one with zero ads.
Facebook can’t offer this for free, because then it wouldn’t make any money.
But if users don’t want any ads at all, they might one day be able to pay.
In April, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said that opting out of ads “would be a paid product”.
Just a few days later, Zuckerberg said “there will always be a version of Facebook that is free” – implying there might one day be a version that isn’t.
Clarifying his and Sandberg’s comments, he explained: “I think what Sheryl was saying is in order to not run ads at all we would need some sort of business model.
“To be clear, we don’t offer an option today for people to pay to not show ads.
Getty Images – Getty You might have to pay a monthly subscription fee for Facebook if you want no ads
“We think offering people an ad-supported service is the most aligned with our mission of trying to connect everyone in the world, because we want to offer a free service that everyone can afford.
“That’s the only way we can reach billions of people.”
How much would a paid Facebook cost?
There are really only two ways Facebook would charge you.
You’d either have to pay a one-off fee to get access to Facebook – like buying an app in the App Store.
Alternatively, it could be a Netflix-style service, where you pay a monthly subscription.
Speaking to The Sun, GBH Insights analyst Daniel Ives said the latter is more likely.
“If Facebook goes this route, it would be a paid monthly service with a small nominal fee in our estimation,” he explained.
But how much would it cost?
Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, talks about the Cambridge Analytica data scandal
In 2017, Facebook made £1.87billion in digital advertising revenue in the UK.
There aren’t any exact figures about the number of Brits using Facebook. But latest estimates put the figure at around 40million UK users.
To stop giving someone ads on Facebook, you’d need to make the money back up with a subscription.
So if you divide Facebook’s total yearly ad money by the number of UK users, you get £46.75.
That’s £3.90 a month – the price of a big up of coffee.
Alternatively, it’s a paltry 13p per day.
Of course, Facebook could charge any amount it likes, so it’s entirely possible that this figure could be completely wrong.
Is a paid Facebook likely?
In any case, there’s no guarantee Facebook will ever even launch a paid version of its app.