Facebook Should Go Freemium


A lot of ink has been spilled lately about Facebook and its privacy changes. Some key people have deleted their accounts, and not one, but two so-called open projects have started.

This is all noise. Even if all the people who rail against Facebook’s privacy changes, do actually quit (they won’t), that will only be a drop in the bucket.

Facebook is too mainstream now for it to matter that Leo Laporte deleted his account, and Jason Calacanis threatened to do so. If Lady Gaga quit, that might make a ripple.

Right, wrong or indifferent, Facebook is a business, and all your data are belong to them–all those pictures, status updates, comments, profiles, notes, pokes, farms, everything.

Facebook began as the antithesis of what it has become. It was a closed network by design, and this is the contract that users feel they have with Facebook.

So, what better time to go freemium than now?

Think about it. Assuming most people are in an uproar about privacy (which they aren’t) what better time to offer them a way to hold on to all the social artifacts they’ve added to Facebook, at a fee.

Flickr makes you pay to store photos beyond a certain number. Facebook doesn’t, and they are the largest online photo sharing site by a very large margin.

Worried about privacy changes? Don’t be a sour puss and delete your account, pay to keep it private.

All it takes is one because, as we’ve seen, social obligation is a powerful motivator.

AboutJake

a.k.a.:jkuramot

7 comments

  1. Definitely. Most people say they wouldn't pay for FB, but all it takes is one, see Farmville. Plus, all the social artifacts added to FB would be lost. Photos being paramount among them.

    If I were them, I'd roll it out like so.
    –Free: Ads, plus the privacy settings that benefit us.
    –Paid: No ads, privacy settings that you really want.

    Plans could be like TiVo, lifetime membership in a lump sum or monthly charges.

  2. Hmmm…social networking…people want privacy…wait…hold on…I'm sure I can come up with a rational reason for expecting both…I'm thinking…I'm thinking…

  3. I'm not debating the right to privacy. It's just not happening though. At least a freemium model would guarantee (hopefully) privacy for those willing to pay for it. Someone has to pay to keep the lights on and the servers blinking.

  4. Hmmm…social networking…people want privacy…wait…hold on…I'm sure I can come up with a rational reason for expecting both…I'm thinking…I'm thinking…

  5. I'm not debating the right to privacy. It's just not happening though. At least a freemium model would guarantee (hopefully) privacy for those willing to pay for it. Someone has to pay to keep the lights on and the servers blinking.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.