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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  • Flor Ortiz

    I guess the overarching argument is that staying in contact with my friends is not worth $10/month to me.

  • Brian Hawkins

    I would consider it if, in addition to hiding ads, it actually made Facebook into an attractively-designed website. 

  • Guest

    I don't see business owners posting ads on Facebook much longer. There is no support for a business owner that posts ads on Facebook. The value is just not there as an advertising source, which is why Facebook won't make money and it's stock has been a failure.

  • Godwin Quere Chuma

    I actually find Facebook's ads beneficial to me, I get to discover goods and services I might like. Why would I pay $10 a month to loose that feature?

  • PG

    Someone who wants FB to close down can give this idea. Anyway, I am just so tired you FB want to delete my account. Will be a good reason for me  to delete it once FB will implement that. Please do it

  • Frederick Tubiermont

    Definitely a good idea. Facebook would be a much better service with less noise, more focus, less scams, etc. And this premium plan could also provide some added (real) privacy. It would sell, for sure.

  • cjschris

    Hmm, wish Twitter would listen to him. Give open API access to subscribers. I'd pay $10 a month for Twitter.

  • deshantm

    What would people pay for annoying request -free facebook or drama-free facebook? Maybe a more curated experience? Maybe ad-free is the wrong question to ask. Lots of people follow pages, which is basically advertising.

  • rktect

    Some people would pay 10 bucks for ad-free (not sure about 10%). The question is how may would pay for a tracking-free "safe" version?