Would You Pay Facebook For An Ad-Free Experience?

By Justin Lafferty 

Many Facebook users have put it bluntly: They hate advertising. But Facebook has to make money somehow, so users can keep uploading photos and other content en masse. Mark Schaefer of Grow thinks he has a solution. He understands that Facebook still has to turn a profit, so he’d be willing to pay a fee to get the ads out of his news feed.

The operating costs of Facebook have grown tremendously since the service was just available to Harvard students. Co-Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s worst nightmare is for Facebook to be down. So for Facebook to keep running continually, those servers have to keep humming (and growing). Especially now that Facebook is a publicly traded company, advertising is fundamental to the site’s success.

Advertising is also one of the main complaints among users.

However, Zuckerberg has always promised (despite myriad false posts) that the site will remain free for users. But what if those users were willing to pay a bit to get ads out of the news feed? That’s what Schaefer imagines:

This all adds up to a really stupid business model. Facebook, you’re just pissing off people every day. Just let me give you a monthly fee to make all this go away, OK?

I understand the company needs to make money (and I WANT it to make money), but why not at least honor your customers by providing an option that allows us to stop being annoyed? Let us give you a few bucks a month to end the insanity.

Recurring revenue, with zero customer acquisition cost. Sounds like an enviable plan to me!

I can’t think of a reason why Facebook would not create this option … other than perhaps tit has done a calculation showing that the potential to constantly annoy people and stir controversy will be more profitable over time than being good to its customers.

Schaefer offers a price point of $20 per year. He notes that if 1 percent of the 1 billion-plus users pay $20 per year to keep ads out of the news feed, that’s an easy $200 million in Facebook’s coffers.

In 2010, a study was posed around this question, but users were actually in favor of ads, instead of a fee.

Readers: Would you pay to block ads from your news feed?

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.