Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Twitter Co-Founder Biz Stone To Facebook: Start a Premium Subscription Service

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the bad-ideas dept.

Facebook 156

An anonymous reader writes "Twitter co-founder Biz Stone today decided to offer some business advice for Facebook: launch a premium subscription service. For $10 a month, Stone figures the company could get rid of ads on its site for those willing to pay to go 'premium.' He says in part: ' Anywhoo, now that I’m using it and thinking about it, I’ve got an idea for Facebook. They could offer Facebook Premium. For $10 a month, people who really love Facebook (and can afford it), could see no ads. Maybe some special features too. If 10% percent of Facebook signed up, that’s $1B a month in revenue. Not too shabby. It’s a different type of company, but by way of validation, have a look at Pandora’s 1Q14 financial results. Of all Pandora’s revenue generators, the highest growth year-over-year by far (114% growth rate) is in subscriptions—people paying a monthly fee for an ad-free experience....."

cancel ×

156 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Yeah Right (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44342083)

10% ???? It would probably be more like 0.001%.

Re:Yeah Right (4, Funny)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year ago | (#44342109)

Think how valuable that list would be. The world's uberchumps.

Re:Yeah Right (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | about a year ago | (#44342625)

Facebook Whales

Re:Yeah Right (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44342305)

Yeah, think if 150% of users paid $1000/month, how much money that would make! Oooooor better yet, think if 200% of the world population paid $10000 for the privilidge of facebook spilling all your private matters to everyone! WOW that's a lot of money!

Re:Yeah Right (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44342565)

You're an idiot

Re:Yeah Right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44343321)

You're an idiot

WHOOOOOSH

But... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44342087)

... they'd still track and sell your data anyway, so what exactly is the point?

Re: But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44343169)

Reread the article. The point is to offer an ad-free service and possibly an extra feature or two to users.

Re: But... (2)

Xicor (2738029) | about a year ago | (#44343355)

facebook is already ad-free. just download the free app called adblocker and put it to good use

Adblock? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44342091)

So his grand advice of making $1B/month (LOL!) is to disable ads?

Adblock + (2)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#44342101)

If you were so addicted to Facebook that the ads really annoyed you, wouldn't you have Facebook enhancing crap installed, like Adblock+? Social Fixer is pretty great, but I'm not quite addicted enough to use it.

Ads aren't the problem Re:Adblock + (2)

mozumder (178398) | about a year ago | (#44342413)

The ads aren't the problem. No one minds the ads. In fact, if they had any skills, they would make the ads a FEATURE of the site. People actually BUY magazines like Vogue FOR the ads.

The problem is that the content is crap - photos of your friends throwing up, political rants no one cares about, etc..

Subscription services generally offer professional content worth buying. No one wants to buy photos of your friends throwing up.

Facebook tries to filter the content automatically to limit low-value content, but that only gets rid of the bottom-of-the-barrel. They still aren't going to offer professional articles, movies, music, etc.. that people generally pay for.

Their layout sucks too. The web has moved far beyond their old-school layout into magazine-quality layout. Amateur's aren't going to be able to produce magazine quality layout as well.

Facebook has 1 billion users, and ONLY makes $4billion/year. Conde-Nast makes $4billion just from 10 million readers - 1/100th less. Their amateur content is the reason they can only charge $0.10 CPM, whereas a professional media company can charge $50 CPM.

Re:Ads aren't the problem Re:Adblock + (1)

Timothy Hartman (2905293) | about a year ago | (#44342931)

Though I don't personally use Facebook it sounds as though your content issue is that you have annoying friends. If Facebook could crack the code on that one and charge $10/month I'd sign up for it.

Re:Adblock + (3, Interesting)

Andy_R (114137) | about a year ago | (#44342567)

Adblock + gets rid of the overt adverts, and FBPurity (http://www.fbpurity.com/) gets rid of the spammy content (game requests, 'questions', 'trending articles', 'promoted posts') and cleans up the UI cruft (news ticker, half the left column).

With those two, and manually turning on the see all posts option for every page, FB doesn't have much left to charge for that you can't get for free.

Re:Adblock + (1)

j_l_cgull (129101) | about a year ago | (#44342623)

ABP and their ilk might work effectively on sites where you do not have an "account". On sites that you do, they already have a mechanism to identify you and all ABP does would be to block the ad content from being displayed. The tracking and mining cannot be avoided.

Of course, if just not displaying the ads is your concern, all is well.

Even the paid Google Apps for Domain product has a check box to let Google display ads as it would for non-paid accounts. It probably implies Google is tracking and mining content from the paid accounts, even if the ads (which obviously utilize the output of the analytics) are not displayed.

In this context, it is laughable that anybody would pay FB to just not display ads, but have them tracked and their data mined anyway.

Log in as Zimmerman? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44342809)

I usually log in to FB with the made-up name of "George Zimmerman" to avoid tracking, but for some reason I've been getting a lot of hate lately . . .

Big difference between Pandora and Facebook. (1)

taxman_10m (41083) | about a year ago | (#44342105)

The Pandora ads are obtrusive. Facebook ads are the same as web ads everywhere, easily ignored.

Re:Big difference between Pandora and Facebook. (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#44342119)

Shhhhhhhh!

Re:Big difference between Pandora and Facebook. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44342153)

Then make the facebook ads more obtrusive. Problem solved!

Re:Big difference between Pandora and Facebook. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44342191)

The problem with 'ad free' is that companies seem to believe (maybe rightly?) that they can then put ads right back in and people won't complain - look at cable. Hell, look at movies; they keep jacking up the price of movie tickets and all you get for it is longer ads.

Re:Big difference between Pandora and Facebook. (1)

houghi (78078) | about a year ago | (#44342379)

The thing is that people won't complain. Look at cable. Look at movies.
If people would really complain they would not do it, because they would not make any money.

As long as the companies make enough money, they will keep doing that. The point is to get as much money as possible, not to serve as many people as possible.

Re:Big difference between Pandora and Facebook. (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about a year ago | (#44342961)

Both of those industries are experiencing unprecedented decline.

Re:Big difference between Pandora and Facebook. (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about a year ago | (#44343089)

cable also has tivo to remove ads. movies ads are the time you use to go get snacks after you have claimed your seats.

Re:Big difference between Pandora and Facebook. (3, Interesting)

Lehk228 (705449) | about a year ago | (#44342209)

you don't notice the feed spam ads? the ones where FB makes it look like your friend posted about a company when they really just "liked" their page 7 or 10 months ago?

Re:Big difference between Pandora and Facebook. (1)

niftydude (1745144) | about a year ago | (#44342653)

you don't notice the feed spam ads? the ones where FB makes it look like your friend posted about a company when they really just "liked" their page 7 or 10 months ago?

Nope - I filter them out with the power of my mind. E. E. Smith predicted this in 1950 in his novel First Lensman:

... the Dillingham began to pick up speed. Moving loud-speakers sang to him and yelled and blared at him, but he did not hear them. Brilliant signs, flashing and flaring all the colors of the spectrum-sheer triumphs of the electrician's art-blazed in or flamed into arresting words and eye-catching pictures, but he did not see them. Advertising -advertising designed by experts to sell everything from aardvarks to Martian zyzmol ("bottled ecstacy")-but the First Lensman was a seasoned big-city dweller. His mind had long since become a perfect filter, admitting to his consciousness only things which he wanted to perceive: only so can big-city life be made endurable.

This has been happening to me - every now and then I surprise myself by accidentally noticing the sheer amount of ads I automatically filter out. The human brain is awesome at this: filtering out the dross, and only letting significant items impinge on your consciousness. The advertisers don't really have a chance.

Re:Big difference between Pandora and Facebook. (2)

Lehk228 (705449) | about a year ago | (#44342723)

problem is, these ads hitting the filter DO make subconcious predispositions towards certain products, they seem more familiar even when you don't actually know anything more about them than you do competing products.

Facebook isn't that good and people know it (4, Insightful)

dingen (958134) | about a year ago | (#44342135)

Anywhoo, now that I’m using it and thinking about it, I’ve got an idea for Facebook. They could offer Facebook Premium. For $10 a month, people who really love Facebook (and can afford it), could see no ads. Maybe some special features too. If 10% percent of Facebook signed up, that’s $1B a month in revenue. Not too shabby.

The problem is highlighted in bold. People who love Facebook and are willing to pay $10 a month isn't 10% of Facebook's user base, it probably isn't even 1%. I think hardly anyone really "loves Facebook" at all actually, the only reason people stick around is because that's where their friends are.

Facebook really needs to improve their platform *a lot* if they want to charge people money for it, because in it's current state, it isn't worth a dime.

Re:Facebook isn't that good and people know it (2)

siride (974284) | about a year ago | (#44342187)

Outside of the data selling and privacy issues (which are, to be sure, BIG issues), the platform isn't actually bad. It's fairly straightforward and usually works just fine. Which might be a problem, actually, for Facebook, since there's not much they can offer for people to want to pay for.

I don't want to see a bunch of responses giving me edge case examples of how the interface sucks. Every interface has those problems, and Facebook's is no exception. But in the main, it's fine. Also, I don't want to get a bunch of responses from people who have very specific desires and who are thus dissatisfied with Facebook. Every interface also has intractable detractors with abnormal needs. It's the same with, say, the DEs on Linux, where you have a group of people who are pissed that you can't do tiling window management via the keyboard with some weirdo focus policy in KDE. Tough shit, that's a very special case. Just use XMonad or whatever cool tiling WM of the month is. Nobody else cares.

Re:Facebook isn't that good and people know it (1)

dingen (958134) | about a year ago | (#44342261)

It used to be the case that Facebook was sort of OK. Nothing special, but not too bad too. But in the last couple of months (years maybe even), it really has declined in quality a lot.

I fully agree that some edge cases are always going to be a problem, but Facebook's utter randomness really goes way beyond acceptable behavior from a software product.

It seems to me that the more you use Facebook, the more you grow upset with it. Which is kind of hard to combine with the "lets let people who love Facebook pay for it" idea, as it really are the people who should love the platform the most who are the ones having the most issues with it.

Re:Facebook isn't that good and people know it (2)

siride (974284) | about a year ago | (#44342269)

People get pissed about FB changes, and then they keep on using it, because the problem is that people don't like change. Can you provide some specific examples of the downhill direction?

Re:Facebook isn't that good and people know it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44342289)

because the problem is that people don't like change.

You cannot decide that for them. What change? All change? No; some changes are good, and others are bad. This 'You just don't like change' nonsense is just that: nonsense.

Re:Facebook isn't that good and people know it (1)

siride (974284) | about a year ago | (#44342351)

I can decide that when the same people stop complaining and keep using the service and use the new features without a peep. Remember when they first started having the feed? That caused a huge uproar. Now I'm trying to imagine anyone making good use of Facebook without the feed. That's how I even see stuff to common on or follow up on. So yes, people complain when it changes and it's clear that they're only complaining because of change.

Re:Facebook isn't that good and people know it (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about a year ago | (#44342417)

I can decide that when the same people stop complaining and keep using the service and use the new features without a peep.

Only they can decide such things for themselves. Perhaps they truly do dislike the new changes, but not enough to make them stop using Facebook? None of this means they just hate change.

Re:Facebook isn't that good and people know it (1)

siride (974284) | about a year ago | (#44342447)

They decided and made it clear for the rest of us. Are you really trying to argue that people do generally like change and that all of Facebook's changes are bad? That's a much harder position. People are entitled dumbasses (myself included) and they hate change (myself included) and that's just how people are. Deal with it.

Re:Facebook isn't that good and people know it (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about a year ago | (#44342571)

They decided and made it clear for the rest of us.

No, they didn't. They may truly hate specific changes, and the reason they didn't leave may have been because the changes weren't bad enough to completely negate any benefit Facebook as a whole brings them. How does this not make sense?

Are you really trying to argue that people do generally like change and that all of Facebook's changes are bad?

Where did I say any of that?

Deal with it.

I don't need to, because I realize that people can decide for themselves what they like and how much value they place in something.

Re:Facebook isn't that good and people know it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44342265)

dumbass

Re:Facebook isn't that good and people know it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44342527)

Here's an edge case example, I have a very specific device and a very specific anti-agreement stance. Furthermore, what's an interface? Haven't hung out with that crowd since before I was a minor. Oh and pssssss, you're kind of a dick.

Re:Facebook isn't that good and people know it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44342923)

I don't want to see a bunch of responses giving me blah blah blah. Also, I don't want to get a bunch of responses from people blah blah blah. Take notice, I don't want to get a bunch of responses telling me blah blah blah. Once again, I don't want to see a bunch of responses blah blah blah.

Kindly, shut the fuck up.

Re:Facebook isn't that good and people know it (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about a year ago | (#44343103)

Outside of the data selling and privacy issues (which are, to be sure, BIG issues), the platform isn't actually bad. It's fairly straightforward and usually works just fine. Which might be a problem, actually, for Facebook, since there's not much they can offer for people to want to pay for.

This. The only people bothered by Facebook's mostly unobtrusive ads are those who are already hypersensitive to advertising - and it's not clear they're more than a relatively small minority.

Re:Facebook isn't that good and people know it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44342513)

That's a pretty sweeping statement. I've never used Facebook and never will, but I have friends who are addicted to it. Some percentage of them will pay a monthly fee for an improved experience. Don't know that it's 10%, but some will definitely pay money to keep in contact with friends and family.

Re:Facebook isn't that good and people know it (1)

dingen (958134) | about a year ago | (#44342803)

Some percentage of them will pay a monthly fee for an improved experience.

Did you ask them? The fact they are using Facebook's service doesn't mean they are in love with it. Most of the people I hear talking about Facebook are complaining about it.

Re:Facebook isn't that good and people know it (2)

MMC Monster (602931) | about a year ago | (#44342873)

Frankly, I'd be surprised if 1% of Facebook users are even people.

Imposing a fee on non-people (companies, etc) is an option, however. I know a lot of small companies that use FB as their entire web presence. Charging $10/month for them is a drop in the bucket and is just a part of the operating expenses.

Re:Facebook isn't that good and people know it (1)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | about a year ago | (#44342899)

I don't think you have any basis for making such a claim. The real problem is the selling of data. Would paying customers expect more privacy, and how would that impact their business model? Knowing Facebook, it wouldn't. They would insist on continuing as is, with the addendum that paying users are now a lucrative segment of their market to feed advertisers. Who wouldn't want data on people who have that kind of disposable income that they choose to spend it on Facebook?

Great idea! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44342137)

perhaps it will deal the killing blow to facebook.

Re:Great idea! (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year ago | (#44342431)

No. Facebook is good. Otherwise the rest of the net would be _full_ of attention whores.

Definitions of signal and noise vary. Let there be a place on the net for AOLers. It reduces the noise elsewhere.

I wish Zukerburg nothing but luck, letting his customers keep any money or privacy would be an unethical and immoral act. He should use a light touch or his userbase is liable to spill back out into the net in general.

Jeremiah 6:13 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44342143)

From the least to the greatest, all are greedy for gain; prophets and priests alike, all practice deceit.

Ask me what ads (1)

bastafidli (820263) | about a year ago | (#44342157)

I have better advice for Facebook, Google, Hulu and all other interactive media. Why don't you ask me what kind of ads/informertials I want to see? Stop trying to figure out what I may want and stop showing me crapy ads for insurance (I have one), laundry detergents (who cares) or senior mobility devices (still have couple decades to get there). Ask me what ads I would like to see (cars, computers, movies, music, etc.) and then make those ads not only entertaining but also educational/meaningful. I would be happy to see few of these before or after my movie or while I am browsing.

Re:Ask me what ads (2)

siride (974284) | about a year ago | (#44342207)

Honestly, I'd rather just pay. Why do I want to see ads at all? I don't. I want to watch a show or talk with friends. If I wanted to shop, I'd go shop, using sites and resources built for that kind of thing. Make it easy for people to pay and make it affordable. And, naturally, make it worth paying for. I pay 10 bucks a month for Spotify because I think it's a good service. I'd pay it even if there weren't a free version. Same with Netflix. Make it compelling, and people will pay. Not everyone. There will always be cheapskates and freeloaders, but best not to worry about them. And for God's sake, don't try to make people pay after you've gotten them hooked. No better way to piss of a userbase than that.

Re:Ask me what ads (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#44342365)

Netflix is pretty much the poster child for what people will pay for. No commercials, few restrictions. What's on offer is so good that people will go to extensive lengths to circumvent platform lockout, or simply Netflix ignoring platforms, in order to get the content onto their chosen output device. But that's in large part because you literally cannot go anywhere else to get what they have. Much of the content you can stream from Netflix simply cannot be streamed legally from any other location, and even people who don't care about breaking the law care about the PITA factor.

But Facebook? There's really nothing they can add to their platform that's worth money, and if they take things away and put them behind a paywall they really will see mass defections to G+.

Re:Ask me what ads (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44342239)

Advertising isn't about what you already have, or already like. It's about enticing you to purchase something you don't have, or didn't think you needed, or weren't aware of in the place.

People say advertising doesn't work on them. But it does work, and far better than you realize. Those ads for Depends may not matter to you today, but when you have prostate surgery in the future and are looking for adult diapers, you will likely purchase the one you saw in an ad.

Re:Ask me what ads (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44342407)

I don't watch or see ads (at least not online, and I don't watch television) to begin with. Furthermore, I avoid such things like the plague, so no, advertisements don't really affect me. I've never really bought anything I've seen in an ad, so your hypothesis is just nonsense.

Re:Ask me what ads (2)

houghi (78078) | about a year ago | (#44342451)

Why don't you ask me what kind of ads/informertials I want to see?

The answer is already known: None!
When I want information about a product or products, I will be looking for it and do comparison.

you can tell when a social site is going downhill (1)

acroyear (5882) | about a year ago | (#44342195)

when they offer a paid service to see who has actually visited your home page. Classmates.com is (and always has been) failing for this very reason. LinkedIn has joined them.

Sorry, people, but if you have that information, either keep it to yourself, OR it should be my legal right to know who is e-stalking me. I shouldn't have to pay to know that.

Big Surprise (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44342199)

Twitter co-founders advice to facebook is to decimate their user base and drive users to twitter.

In other news, Microsoft's advice to Apple is to bring back the Newton and the Pippin. Yahoo advises Google to remake their search engine to be more like Ask Jeeves. Jay Z advises Diddy to release a bluegrass record. Pepsi advises Coke to start peeing in the vats. AND SO ON

Return of Newton and Pippin (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#44342287)

I thought the products whose names start with iP were the return of the Newton, and the new gaming functionality that ships in iOS 7 was the return of the Pippin. So you might want to revise your analogy.

Differences... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about a year ago | (#44342215)

There is a huge difference between Pandora's ads and Facebook's ads. Even without adblock its easy to ignore Facebook's ads, not so much when your music is interrupted with an ad on Pandora. The reason why Facebook has been mass adopted has been:

1) Everyone is on it
2) Its free
3) Its not Myspace

I don't think there's a single person who would say that Facebook is great or amazing, instead its simply adequate enough for most people's needs. Other than simply having a lot more people on it than other social media sites, there is no advantage to Facebook when compared to literally any other social media site, it has no competitive advantage other than merely being the most popular. Pandora is different, its predictions are much more accurate than Apple Genius or Last.FM, its superior to its competitors, not merely the most used and until someone makes better predictions, it will continue to be used.

Facebook needs to make their platform better if they expect people to pay for it because all they have going for them now is sheer numbers, just like Friendster and Myspace had going for them in their heyday...

Facebook verification is already premium (2)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#44342233)

I thought Facebook was already premium. In order to skip the friend request CAPTCHA, post videos, add a page, or even to log in to your account after a while, you have to verify your account [facebook.com] , which requires having a unique mobile phone number. A house phone won't work if you share this phone with another Facebook user in your household, and a lot of house phone carriers can't receive texts anyway.

Re:Facebook verification is already premium (1)

siride (974284) | about a year ago | (#44342285)

Facebook doesn't make any money off that. Likewise, Facebook requires that you have a computer with an internet connection. That also doesn't make Facebook premium.

Re:Facebook verification is already premium (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44342489)

If I have a car I use roads not walkways. Facebook asking for a mobile phone number in order to verify an account is in fact reprehensible, because sensible service that uses the email address known from account creation.

Re:Facebook verification is already premium (1)

siride (974284) | about a year ago | (#44342579)

"If I have a car I use roads not walkways" -- way to miss the point. The point is that certain services have reasonable prerequisites for use. You'll have to buy gas if you want to use a car. You'll need to pay for water and electricity if you want to live in a modern home or apartment. If you want to use a website, you have to buy internet. It's just part of the service.

My gmail uses my phone to send verification messages. My work VPN does the same. It's not uncommon and it's not a bad system. You are free not to use Facebook if you don't like their security policy (indeed, there are many similar reasons not to use Facebook). It is hardly "reprehensible". If the government required you to have a mobile phone to live in this country, that would be reprehensible.

If you consider life in prison acceptable (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#44342735)

You are free not to use Facebook if you don't like their security policy (indeed, there are many similar reasons not to use Facebook). It is hardly "reprehensible". If the government required you to have a mobile phone to live in this country, that would be reprehensible.

The government requires people to find a job in order to live outside prison. If all employers in the field for which one is trained require a mobile phone, then the government requires a mobile phone.

Re:Facebook verification is already premium (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44342935)

If a cell phone with data service were required for full browser access to Facebook, then using that logic, let's require a Kinect turned on to access those extra features, even if they do not involve a webcam. After all, FB can verify who you are, and it would be more secure.

Anyone can require anything they want for those features. It doesn't automatically make the requirements relevant to many peoples' daily uses.

Phone as CA (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#44342751)

sensible service that uses the email address known from account creation.

Facebook is relying on the telephone number as a unique key to identify real people. Anybody can generate trillions of e-mail addresses by registering a domain and using catch-all forwarding. It's supposed to be cost-prohibitive to register a phone number just to create a single Facebook account.

Re:Facebook verification is already premium (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44343043)

Having a mobile phone has nothing to do with social networking or the internet. It has no reason to be a requirement, other than so Facebook has more info they can use or sell. It is indeed a premium that I'm not willing to pay for the sake of using Facebook.

Re:Facebook verification is already premium (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44342921)

I've never had to supply a phone number to continue using FB, despite the annoying and creepy nag screens which appear now and again. The day I have to give them a phone number to log in will simply be the last day I go there.

the only reason I would pay.. (3, Insightful)

houbou (1097327) | about a year ago | (#44342249)

for Facebook is IF not only would the experience be AD free, but I would have 100% control and ownership of the material that I posted. If I decide to delete/remove something, it would be 100% gone, not archived anywhere. If I want to backup my posts, my entire account, I would be able to do so.

Re:the only reason I would pay.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44342827)

That doesn't even solve the problem, though. Your friends write about you and post pictures about you which will leak a lot of information about you. The mere fact that these people decided to friend you is already revealing a lot information about you with pretty high confidence, such as sexual orientation, income, education, personality and political views. The NSA has a much richer profile on you than Facebook does anyway and they have more power to do something about it if they or their overlords decide that they don't like you.

What an Amazing Idea Stone! (1)

Jace Barnett (2991483) | about a year ago | (#44342267)

I can't help but wonder if he came up with this great idea all on his own or if he managed to read one the chain letter typed rumors about "Facebook Premium" that are posted and circulated on Facebook every week. I guess Stone is to blame for all the "Starting on (pick one of 50+ dates claimed) Facebook will no longer be free. Tell your friends." messages I have had to deal with in my timeline for the last several years.

Missing the point completely (1)

mvdwege (243851) | about a year ago | (#44342297)

Biz Stone misses the point of Facebook completely. The ads are not there to finance a free subscription model, the subscriptions are there as targets for the ads.

And no way will Facebook change that. In fact, they started as a premium service with limited access, in order to build up a demographic base to have to sell.

Re:Missing the point completely (1)

dingen (958134) | about a year ago | (#44342861)

This is exactly why Facebook's entire business model would collapse if people could buy their way out of seeing ads. Even if only 1% of the users would disable ads this way, companies purchasing ads would surely miss out on the 1% of the most addicted, most active users. The people who would pay money to disable ads are exactly the people advertisers want to target.

Re:Missing the point completely (1)

mister2au (1707664) | about a year ago | (#44343097)

Yikes - you butchered that analogy.

We can see where you started with the mantra "facebook (A) is not the product for users (B), but users (B) are the product for advertisers (C)" ... 3 separate entities and a reasonable concept ...

You've concluded that "ads (A) don't finance users (B), users (B) are the target of ads (A)" ... only 2 entities and logically inconsistent given the ads are there EXACTLY to finance a free subscription model

What has been proposed may actually make sense given it makes facebook the product for a group of customers:
- advertisers value the platform at $2/user per annum
- the subscription model suggested values the platform at $120/user per annum
- i'd guess that anyone who wanted ad-free would worth less $120 (ie 60x the average) to advertisers

Nothing wrong with fragmenting your market and cashing in the high-value component. Exactly what most of the media does - pay services for high value customers and throw low value advertising at the others. Think why cinemas still exist when TV viewers are the product for advertisers and that can be a free service????

WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44342329)

"Biz?" Seriously?

Not true (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44342331)

I pay for Pandora purely so I can bypass their monthly limit. Just like Facebook ads, Pandora ads are simple to ignore.

Slippery slope (1)

tompaulco (629533) | about a year ago | (#44342341)

So, then what happens is that people pay to not have ads. Then pretty soon, they will have ads on the premium service as well. Then people will get pissed and leave.

Annoy by Design (1)

webdog314 (960286) | about a year ago | (#44342361)

Why is it that the current model in large scale endeavors like this is to purposely make something so annoying that the customer would pay to remove that annoyance? Why spend all that money on a clean and simple, easy-to-use interface to attract customers - and then purposely make it annoying? It seems like we go through cycles - a great product appears, it attracts a massive userbase, marketing steps in and fraks it up, users jump-ship to the "next great thing", repeat. I realize that these are businesses which need to make money, but seriously, is general marketing really that stupid? How many years now have we been driving this failed model?

Re:Annoy by Design (1)

siride (974284) | about a year ago | (#44342383)

We'll drive it until it stops making money. I guess it still works (at least for a little while), so there's no disincentive for the marketing and management folks.

Yikes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44342395)

People want to pay 10 bucks a month for Facebook? Funny, I'm trying to get off it...

Re:Yikes (2)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year ago | (#44342475)

People want to pay 10 bucks a month for Facebook? Funny, I'm trying to get off it...

If he had said $10 per year, that might be a little more reasonable, but I think the people that use and love Facebook so much that they'd consider paying $120/year for the service are probably not the same people that have $120 to spare.

$10 is too high (1)

sandytaru (1158959) | about a year ago | (#44342449)

I pay subscription fees for two websites. One is a forum that costs me around $3 a month (I pay a year in advance.) The other is di.fm which is $5 a month for ad-free. Since the ads are auditory and cannot be ignored, the $5 a month for me is very much worth it to improve the music listening experience. The forum gives me an avatar, no ads, and many other perks for paying them - plus I spend enough time on there to justify it.

I'd pay at most a dollar a month just to get rid of ads on Facebook - if AdBlock didn't already do that for me. Now, give me a feature to block any and all invitations to Facebook game aps and we might have a healthy conversation about it.

How well did it work for slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44342463)

I mean, is the goal:

1. to get the site sold
2. to take money from subscribers
3. are the users the product?

I figure it is #1. But who's gonna buy facebook?

Cesspool (1)

XcepticZP (1331217) | about a year ago | (#44342479)

The internet is a cesspool of spammy, useless ads, and sex ads. Nice try, Twitter, but I already have a pleasant viewing experience without having to fork out money to get rid of ads.

If anyone wishes to join me on this side, it's much greener: Go Here [adblockplus.org]

Bad advice (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44342525)

The part about launching a premium service is something I'm sure Zuckerberg thinks about all the time (see: Amazon Prime), but not if they exclude the ads. That's telling their advertisers that they won't be reaching the very people they want to target the most.

What a lousy deal! (1)

LeonPierre (305002) | about a year ago | (#44342547)

$10 a month just so I don't get to see ads is not a deal. How about for $10 Facebook won't sell my personal information, browsing habits, and connections of everyone I associate with (and also their associations) to every "partner" they have. And while they're at it, perhaps gain some trust from their users by actually growing a backbone and keeping Big Brother out of Big Data.

$10 a month just for no ads is just a cash grab

.

freemium model (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44342561)

Biz's suggestion is naive and unrealistic. There is a VERY big cliff between 0 and 1 penny. I've been a part of several major startups that have offered free services and tried to charge. Unless you are blocking access to very valuable information that the user wants or needs (ala linkedin), people just wont pay. The uptake on that for facebook would be more like .01%. If it is a such a great suggestion why doesn't twitter try this?

Yes but for $10.... (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about a year ago | (#44342583)

Do I get to opt-out of all the information gathering about me and the partnerships Facebook has with other's in the industry who want to track my buying habits, my social preferences and in general just want to look at me as a giant piece of data that can be mined?

Feature Freeze (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44342603)

I think more people would pay for a 'feature freeze' to permanently opt out of whatever half-baked change to the UI facebook was making that month.

Ease of ignoring ads on Facebook vs. Pandora (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44342609)

It's hard to ignore ads on Pandora, since they interrupt your music. On Facebook, though, it's easy: just glance and move on, which is the same thing you do to 99% of the stuff your friends post in your news feed anyway.

Go For It (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | about a year ago | (#44342657)

I would love for Facebook to do this - anything that further opens the door for a competitor to swoop in and steal Facebook's thunder is a good thing.

And lest anyone think that's impossible, please do try to remember Facebook's own origin story. Myspace was _THE_ social networking website but everyone hated it. People used it because people used it but nobody liked it. Then Facebook came along with a clean, simple site that allowed people to do what they wanted most - stay in touch with their friends and family. Almost overnight, Myspace was dead and Facebook was beginning a meteoric rise.

Now, if you don't think it's possible for that to happen again, then you're not paying attention to the history of the internet nor the history of social networking sites of which Facebook is a player. People use Facebook because people use Facebook. Create enough scenarios that stop people from using Facebook or, more importantly, to start using something else and guess what happens...

So, please Facebook, go the freemium route and push users towards a $10/month fee. Please do it. It'll be wonderful for your balance sheet for a short while and you'll make a fortune. And you'll open the door for a competitor who is willing to offer users what they want because, increasingly, Facebook is less and less what people want any more.

Anywhoo (2)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | about a year ago | (#44342749)

Did he really say "anywhoo"? Just ignore anything after that, it won't be worth hearing.

Re:Anywhoo (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44342805)

Snob knob sucker, fucker!

Big fallacy (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about a year ago | (#44342781)

Basic math is, if 10% of users paying 10$ a month produces 1 billion a month revenue, it is enough for 100% of the users to produce 1$ in ad-revenue to be cost neutral. If the current set of users are not producing that much revenue, or if you have to be so obtrusive in ad serving to get just 1$ a month from the users, will it really work if it is not free? If FB users are split in two groups some getting "premium" and others not, what percentage of non-premium users would shun their premium friends?

Anyway, FB is a lek. [wikipedia.org] Its main attraction is it is the main attraction for a significant percentage of others. All it takes is for a significant fraction of the FB users to skip FB, its status will decline exponentially. Microsoft Windows+ Office was a lek. Everyone used it because everyone else used it. At some point the negatives out weighed the positive, and it declined quite rapidly and seems to be struggling to find its footing.

Facebook is free and always will. (2)

Yeah I'm Sarath (2991515) | about a year ago | (#44342829)

I don't think Zuck will change it like this? Facebook is free and always will.* *Conditions Apply

WTF?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44342927)

WTF? The problem with Facebook isn't the ads, it is the strategy by which they serve them up to you by raping your privacy. I already pay $15/mo for a Facebook-like service that has privacy and security as key features. Facebook would never do that because there is so much money to be made by raping privacy. Until one day there isn't. Better hope the sheep keep munching grass.

Peak Facebook was in 2012 (1)

Animats (122034) | about a year ago | (#44342959)

Facebook's traffic, user count, revenue, and profits peaked in mid-2012. They're already on the Myspace track to decline.

The future of "social" is on phones, not the Web.

only reason I'd consider paying (1)

ehiris (214677) | about a year ago | (#44343003)

I don't really have a problem with seeing ads but I'd pay something to not have ads on my content which others see.
10 dollars a month is a lot though and a lot more than it's really worth. pandora is 40 a year and they actually provide content, and don't get the content for free like Facebook does.

how about (4, Funny)

Xicor (2738029) | about a year ago | (#44343273)

10$ a month to have total anonymity to the government. pay 10$ a month and the government cant access your facebook... EVERYONE would buy that

Who do the advertisers want ? (1)

Alain Williams (2972) | about a year ago | (#44343377)

They want facebook users who have a little disposible inome that they might intice to buy something. Users without much money are less likely to buy on-line and won't be able to afford $10/month. Users who can afford $10/month are the very ones who the advertsiers want.

So: if facebook were to do this they would hurt their advertisers who would see less reason to advertise with facebook. Ie this would be a total fail for facebook.

Keep the man children in one place (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44343401)

I use Facebook still which is of great annoyance to me. I have grown to hate Facebook in recent years. For instance, when I say I'm going somewhere and stop at a coffee shop in between, Facebook picks right there and then to tell my whole friends list I'm stopped at a coffee shop because apparently in my stupidity or whatever you would like to choose to say about me, I have not turned location off and have not adjusted my privacy settings. So then I have five people texting me saying: "I thought you were on your way.." "Why did you lie?"
Holy Kentucky fried shit....I'm at a goddamn drive through!!!!!
In this situation it suddenly occoured to me that I had volunteered my personal information to a large corperation who profits from the use of it. It also occoured to me that this thing tells people exactly where I am everytime I don't adjust the settings. Preventable? Yes. But why should I have to put any effort into preventing my location being broadcasted and attached to the things I post. So I have everything that has anything to do with sharing my information turned off, which may make no difference in my privacy in terms of the global availability of my information but no more being called a liar every time I run through Dutch brothers. And I will certainly never pay for it. So the advertising is removed. WOW, how magnanimous of you.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>