Biz Stone: Facebook Should Go Premium With Paid Ad-Free Version

The Twitter cofounder has a suggestion for Mark Zuckerberg: Offer a paid, ad-free version of the social network for $10 a month.

Obvious Corp.'s Biz Stone may have cofounded Twitter, but the founder of the stealth startup Jelly has only just started getting the hang of another social network: Facebook.

In a new post Stone wrote on Medium, Obvious Corps.' online publishing platform, he had a suggestion for Mark Zuckerberg's social network:

Anywhoo, now that I’m using it and thinking about it, I’ve got an idea for Facebook. They could offer Facebook Premium. For $10 a month, people who really love Facebook (and can afford it), could see no ads. Maybe some special features too. If 10% percent of Facebook signed up, that’s $1B a month in revenue. Not too shabby.

Stone's logic: Although Facebook's ads keep it a free service, they aren't very useful—instead of engaging with them, users merely tolerate them. So why not add a Premium tier for $10 a month in exchange for an ad-free site, and perhaps some special features?

This sounded familiar to us—we suggested the same thing back in May, after the company revealed during its last quarterly earnings announcement that in 2012 it made $11.08, on average, per North American user. We also know Mark Zuckerberg was granted a patent earlier this year for a concept that would allow a user to "replace advertisements or other elements that are normally displayed to visitors of the user's profile page that are otherwise controlled by the social networking system."

Readers: Would you pay $10 a month for an ad-free, premium version of Facebook? Tell us in the comments.

[Image: Flickr user Lord Jim]

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