You don’t have to pay to use Facebook, but in a way you do pay for it with your privacy, or rather, lack of privacy. And what is your personal information and time worth to Facebook? A whopping one cent per hour spent on Facebook.
According to this NY Times article, Mark Zuckerberg, Let Me Pay For Facebook, Facebook earns an average of 20 cents per user per month, and the average user is on Facebook for 20 hours per month.
This pathetic value of your privacy to Facebook raises the question, would you rather pay outright to use Facebook in order to preserve your privacy?
It seems many would. The payoff would be no more ads, an unfiltered News Feed, and personal information that is only shared with whom you choose, not the highest bidder.
An interesting point in the anti-advertising debate is that advertising costs (for Facebook ads) are rolled into the advertised products and services costs, therefore making them more expensive. Thus you don’t pay for Facebook directly, but you do pay for it in the end.
What is your privacy worth to you? If you had the choice, would you pay $0.20 a month to be a private Facebook customer?