Back in 2010, a young Mark Zuckerberg told lawmakers that Facebook would always be free. Eight years later, a more grown-up Zuckerberg updated his stance to Congress, saying “There will always be a version of Facebook that is free.”
That statement leaves open the possibility that Facebook will someday offer a paid version — perhaps one without ads and the ensuing data scandal that has Zuckerberg testifying in front of lawmakers right now.
But would people actually pay for an ads-free version?
According to a new online survey by Recode and market research company Toluna, most Americans wouldn’t pay, despite how little they trust Facebook with their personal information. 77 percent would stick to the regular ads version, while 23 percent said they’d pay not to have ads.
Facebook makes its money by leveraging user data in order to serve users ads it thinks are pertinent. Facebook generates about $9 a month per user in the U.S. by targeting you with ads. Theoretically, it would want about the same to offer the service ad-free.
So for those who would be willing to pay for Facebook, how much would they be willing to pay?
Nearly 42 percent said they’d spend between $1 and $5 a month for Facebook. About 25 percent said they’d pay between $6 and $10 — or what Facebook is already making per user.
The survey was conducted online on April 11 among 750 U.S. adults.