A recent post from Nationalreport.net made rounds this week titled, “Facebook To Begin Charging Users $2.99/mo Starting November 1st“. Naturally, the internet exploded. Users from all over expressed their outrage over the social media kingpin capitalizing on their growing 1.3 billion person user base. But we can all rest easy for now. The article was in fact a hoax.
But what if this story were real? What if Zuckerberg came to the decision that the potential profit to be made off of a Facebook subscription was too big to ignore? While Facebook’s reign over social media does not seem to be ending anytime soon, its future is far from set in stone. If I have learned anything from my time working in the digital world, it is that just like a newsfeed, eventually everything gets pushed to the bottom. Facebook users are already skewing older and Zuck is having a hard time appealing to younger crowds. Eventually, that problem could lead to a crisis for Facebook. With waning user numbers, money would start to become a little more scarce and a subscription fee could very well become a reality.
How would this affect user numbers? It’s hard for me to imagine my average day without a Facebook check/update and I don’t think I’m alone. Of those 1.3 billion users, hundreds of millions of them use Facebook for more than just socializing. Facebook is a broadcasting center for individuals and businesses alike to share their messages with the world. Just because we are accustomed to Facebook being free, does not mean that its services have no value. While user numbers would undoubtedly be negatively affected by this change, it is highly unlikely that everyone would drop Facebook all together. Who knows? With businesses so deeply ingrained in social media, it could very well be the catalyst that makes subscription fees acceptable across all social media sites.
Hopefully, we won’t have to encounter this anytime soon. Fingers crossed.