Twitter co-founder Biz Stone has stated that he believes Facebook should offer a subscription plan for those that wish to use the social network without having to endure adverts.
Recently returning to Zuckerbreg’s service after a length of absence as a user, Stone says he found the adverts highly irritating.
“In general, the ads on Facebook don’t seem particularly useful or engaging,” said Stone on Medium, the open editorial blog.
“However, ads on the service are universally tolerated because that’s what makes Facebook free and free is nice.
“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.”
Stone uses the example of music streaming service Pandora, whose Q1 2014 financial results show that the largest growth area for revenues for the company to be paid-for subscriptions, rising 114% as users begin to note the benefits of ad-free music streaming offered by a premium account.
However, ads that interrupt a string of tunes versus ads that can be scrolled past are two very different annoyances. We’d argue that interrupting music playback and wrestling control of songs from a user is much more of an intrusion than Facebook’s ads. Facebook has always promised to remain free for everyone, though running a subscription model parallel to a free version wouldn’t necessarily be a reversal on that policy, providing the free serves maintained parity with the paid-for version aside from advert serving.