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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13 Comments

  • 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?