Facebook Premium: Twitter Founder Biz Stone's Grand Ad-Free Vision

biz stone
Not all social-media mavens are social-media experts. In a blog post, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone freely admits that he'll leave a service in the dust if he can't figure it out in a minute or two. "Too many settings and options frustrate and confuse me," he writes. "I like making simple stuff because I enjoy simple stuff." (Read: micro-blogging in 140 characters or less.)
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Stone's personal anecdote follows his Facebook activity through his fall-out with, and eventual return to, the service. And, since he's been away, he's had enough time to reflect on the state of the social network. According to Stone, "The ads on Facebook don’t seem particularly useful or engaging." He's well aware of the necessity of ads (they are what make the service free), but he believes Facebook can expand on that.
Facebook has been adamant about not charging its users a service fee, but Stone believes that a premium option (similar to what Pandora and Spotify use), could rake in more revenue than ever. His idea is to create the option for financially able users to pay $10 a month for an ad-free Facebook experience. Profit-wise, this makes sense. "If 10 percent of Facebook signed up, that’s $1 billion per month in revenue," he explains. On the ad sales side, however, Facebook's algorithms have changed the way advertisers connect with us. How much of the monthly fee would Facebook actually profit from if their advertising relationships are losing exposure?
Of course, Stone's idea is just that: an idea. But, it's a solid one worth considering and fine tuning. An ad-free newsfeed would mean dealing with less of this and more of what Facebook was designed for: cultivating a network of friends. (All Facebook)
Photo: Courtesy of Facebook/Biz Stone.
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