Facebook has been coming under some pretty heavy scrutiny for its privacy practices. That’s caught the attention of lawmakers in the US and abroad, and it’s led many people to consider joining the #DeleteFacebook movement.

While Facebook is trying to win back users (and avoid hefty fines related to Europe’s new data privacy regulations) by making some changes, the company is also considering doing something it’s never done before: offering a paid, ad-free version of its service.

According to Bloomberg, Facebook hasn’t decided it will offer a paid version yet. But the company is said to be conducting market research to find out how the idea is likely to be received.

Facebook has no plans to do away with the free tier. The company still makes most of its money on ads, and part of the reason is that Facebook has a lot of data about its users, allowing advertisers to precisely target users who are most likely to be receptive to their messages.

It’s hard to imagine that Facebook could get enough of its 2 billion users to pay for premium accounts to eliminate ads altogether. But Bloomberg says the company is trying to figure out if offering a paid service would help bring some folks who have been resistant to use Facebook into the fold.

I could also imagine casual users becoming more engaged if they see more content from their friends and less sponsored content from brands.

What’s your take? Would you be willing to pay for an ad-free Facebook? I’m going to make this a yes or no poll… but I know there’s a lot more nuance to this question. So feel free to weigh in with comments about how Facebook would have to pay you before you’d consider signing up, it depends on the price, etc.

Personally, I’m somewhat careful about the types of things I share on Facebook, but I do value it as a way to keep in touch with old friends scattered around the world who I might otherwise have lost touch with years ago. Maybe I’d even be willing to pay a few bucks for a better version of that service, especially if it meant Facebook as harvesting less of my data.

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24 replies on “Would you pay for Facebook if it were ad-free?”

  1. I think it would be foolish to share my credit card information with a company with such a poor track record of keeping data secure. Plus, if they had my credit card info, they would have even more access to my personal information and ways to link to it.
    Like others have said, I feel like I have to have some access to Facebook. There are people that it would be difficult to keep in contact with otherwise, and it is an exclusive avenue for invites to certain events. In the past few years, I have been using it less and less. In years past, your feed contained a good amount of useful information and limited amounts of junk. Now, it’s 95% junk. Even if I did trust Facebook with my payment information, they’d have to provide a service worth paying for.

  2. I wonder if the upcoming (late May 2018) DGPR policies of the EU and the enoooorrrrrmmmous fines they can level at Facebook may cause a turnabout on the use of many such programs.

    We shall see. It won’t be long coming and then Facebook will only be used in the US and Pitcairn Island.

  3. Even if Facebook does offer a paid tier they will keep gathering/selling your data. You may not see the ads on Facebook but you’d be foolish to think they’d stop collecting or delete info what they have on you. I deleted my account way back before the January 2015 change to their terms of service which said they owned what ever you posted. If anything my life is better for it.

  4. Nope. It would be just the push I need to kick this harmful addiction.

  5. Microsoft, Apple, Google, Facebook, and NOW Mozilla should not be allowed into your home.

    Period. End of story.

  6. From the beginning? Nope, and I’m pretty sure Facebook knows that. Now that they have people addicted to it, they’re feeling out if they can charge for it. Will they stop collecting your data and re-selling it to ad agencies? As surely as I am Santa Claus.

  7. They should consider opening the sistem and let other companies like disquis, yahoo, google, or host my own private server to interact with facebook users.

  8. No but I would use it a lot less if filled with more ads than presently

  9. For additional premium content and services. Elevated posts. Also UI would have to be much more intuitive and simple. I would love to have the ability to create a more robust profile page with custom templates.

  10. No: FB would still collect/store the same data, track users across the web, share it with vague 3rd-parties. If at some point, a user decides to go back to a free version, FB would use the collected data it had amassed.

    I would much rather fill out an occasional survey about my interests than have the kind of surveillance that’s a core issue to advertising.

    1. This! I find it deceptive for Facebook to float this idea out as an “ad-free” version as if it is the presence of ads that is the issue.

      It is their collection and sharing of the data collected on its users that is the issue.

      1. To be fair, they haven’t floated it publicly. They’re said to be considering it internally and Bloomberg is reporting it as a leak from inside sources.

  11. I don’t use free FB and I absolutely would not pay for it. I’ve been off FB for 4 years now. I saw it coming (Like many people. I’m not saying I’m some sort of Nostradamus or anything). FB is garbage, people.

  12. To the extreme, f*** no.

    The only reason I still use Facebook is that a few groups I regularly meet up with exclusively post their events on Facebook. I don’t use it for anything else, not for third party sign-ins, not for posting, not for reading about what friends are up to. As soon as I convince these groups to move elsewhere, I’m reaming every nibble of data out of my Facebook account and deleting it.

    Now, a question I might consider is if they paid me to stay. For, say, $50 a month, I might grumble and hang around, making occasional use of the site.

    1. Me too, and if they started blocking me I’d probably just go there a lot less using another browser, sort of like what I do now with Forbes.

    2. I’ve found Adblock Plus is not blocking sponsored posts in Facebook though. Does it work for you?

        1. Exactly, I use uBlock + f.b.Purity and NoScript.
          I personally am not a fan of Facebook, I use it for few groups and some of my friends do not like to use other clients like Discord, Hangouts etc.
          Even when browsing web on a mobile phone, I use Brave … I just really do not like ads or “tracking”.
          I know many people use FB and like it so much, they would be willing to pay for it, but to be honest I am glad I am not one of them.

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