Is Facebook Going to Start Charging?

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For the past few weeks there have been hundreds of thousands of statuses on Facebook that look like this:

“FACEBOOK JUST RELEASED THEIR NEW PRICE GRID FOR MEMEBERSHIP. $9.99 PER MONTH FOR GOLD MEMBER SERVICES, $6.99 PER MONTH FOR SILVER MEMBER SERVICES, $3.99 PER MONTH FOR BRONZE MEMBER SERVICES, FREE IF YOU COPY AND PASTE THIS MESSAGE BEFORE MIDNIGHT TONIGHT. WHEN YOU SIGN ON TOMORROW MORNING YOU WILL BE PROMPTED FOR PAYMENT INFO…IT IS OFFICIAL IT WAS EVEN ON THE NEWS. FACEBOOK WILL START CHARGING DUE TO THE NEW PROFILE CHANGES. IF YOU COPY THIS ON YOUR WALL YOUR ICON WILL TURN BLUE AND FACEBOOK WILL BE FREE FOR YOU. PLEASE PASS THIS MESSAGE ON IF NOT YOUR ACCOUNT WILL BE DELETED IF YOU DO NOT PAY”

“IT IS OFFICAL. IT WAS EVEN ON THE NEWS. FACEBOOK WILL START CHARGING DUE TO THE PROFILE CHANGE. IF U COPY AND PASTE THIS ON YOUR PROFILE WALL YOUR ICON WILL TURN BLUE AND FACEBOOK WILL BE FREE TO YOU. PLEASE PASS THIS MESSAGE, IF NOT YOUR PROFILE WILL BE DELETED IF U DO NOT PAY”

So is it true? Will Facebook start charging? No, these are just rumors that are completely false.

During an interview with Diane Sawyer, last year Mark Zukerberg, CEO of Facebook says: “Our commitment to users – and the people who use our service – is that Facebook is a free service. It’s free now. It will always be free.”

Last year Facebook’s spokesman Larry Yu on told CNN:

“We have absolutely no plans to charge for the basic service of using Facebook. Last year we saw a similar rumor circulating that Facebook was going to begin charging $1.99 to use the site, but this year we’re hearing that fee increased to $14.99 with the spread of this rumor. We look forward to hearing what Facebook might be rumored to cost for use next year.”

Facebook makes millions of dollars from advertisers and from people playing games that Facebook has partnered with like Zynga’s Farmville and EA’s The Sims. If Facebook started charging, they would lose millions of users and their advertisers. Advertisers realize that Facebook has 500 million + users seeing their advertisements on Facebook everyday, and pay Facebook a pretty penny to advertise. In other words, Facebook will make a lot more money from advertisers than the users that decide to stick around paying for their service.

So just because you read it on the internet, it doesn’t mean its true.

Tim Martin is a Technology specialist, who gives us insights into the technology and software that helps us to get through our day. Technology is everywhere, an increasingly pervasive part of our lives. Tim helps us make sense of it in many ways.