sly : marketing

Will Facebook launch a paid membership option?

Today I saw a sponsored poll at Facebook. The question was this:

Would you pay $3.99 a month to have no ads on Facebook?

Is this a way for Facebook to see if they can start charging for a new kind of membership? Like a professional one, where you pay to get rid of all the ads?

I took the poll and the results was so far 94% no and only 5% yes (1% missing?).

Even though only 5% want to pay for a professional membership at Facebook, Facebook might want to try it. There are probably many reasons to why they want to charge for a new kind of ad free membership, but I have at least thought of two important reasons:

I am a free member at Facebook and I always will be, but even though they start charging money for a new kind of membership, I won’t notice anything different to my account. Everything will be just the same as it is today. Facebook will not be risking anything by charging for this new membership.

Only a few percent of Facebook users will pay, but what if only 100.000 members will pay? They have more than 50 million members as of November 2007 and if only 100.000 members will pay, Facebook will be earning $399.000 a month, and that’s from only 100.000 members. I guess that Facebook can be earning more than $1 million a month just by giving their members the option of not viewing ads. What if 5% of their members will pay for this membership, wow… that would be a lot of money!

The question is; will Facebook earn more money by charging members for this new account or by giving advertisers the opportunity to advertise to them?



11 responses to “Will Facebook launch a paid membership option?”

  1. Sly from Slyvisions.com says:

    Hey Jens! I came upon your site from a BlogRush widget. Looking at your domain name, it always reminds me of my own, Slyvisions.com. I’m not sure if that’s where you got the idea of SlyMarketing, but it’s a really nice domain. Don’t forget to visit my blog!

    Sly from Slyvisions.com

  2. Jens says:

    Hi Sly,

    Great blog you got. But I actually thought about slymarketing myself 🙂

    I wanted marketing as part of the domain, and thought that sly (meaning playfully artful, mischievous, or roguish) would be perfect as well.

  3. Ed Torres says:

    I also joined Yuwie. The site still growing.

    Here it is the latest numbers:

    New Members (10/29/07)
    Total Members: 208,276
    New This Month: 103,437
    New Today: 2,027

  4. Your Dad says:

    but then they dont get as many viewers for the ads thus not getting the same money from ad revenue

  5. JH says:

    “I am a free member at Facebook and I always will be, but even though they start charging money for a new kind of membership, I won’t notice anything different to my account. Everything will be just the same as it is today. “

    Good luck with that.

    Historically, web sites that provide this sort of subscription motivation gradually increase the amount, size and sheer obnoxious factor of ads on their site.

    Case-in-point: IGN. Even as recently as the past few weeks, they've adopted an advertising technique that not only skins the entire site with an ad, but also literally pushes page content down momentarily to throw a commercial at you.

    Not to mention the random interstitial “continue to X” ad pages.

    I can assure you. With Facebook's atrocious user experience track record, your free experience will most certainly *not* stay the same.

  6. Tv7 says:

    Nope, ads on Facebook don’t bother and sometimes they’re intersting.

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