Facebook is considering a paid version of the social media website which would remove advertisements for subscribers. The idea, which gained thrust within the company, emerged following the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
The company has discussed the idea numerous times, but it has been doing market research during the recent weeks. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has also thought of releasing the paid version for some time.
The move would be the answer to several concerns regarding advertising on the social media site. Advertising comprises the majority of the company’s revenue, but it is also the reason why some users opt out of the website. In 2017, ad revenues rose to 47 percent to $40B which makes up 96 percent of its total income.
Concern among users regarding the use of their data was aggravated after the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The scandal revolved around divulging the information of approximately 87 million Facebook users. The social media website uses personal data to personalize advertisements being shown to its users. However, it was reported that there was no assurance that the company will undertake a second operating model, mentioning people who know the matter.
Zuckerberg’s statement to the United States Senate caused the rumor regarding a paid version of the app when he said that there will always be a free version of Facebook. His wordings was noted by observers as more ambiguous than previous comments regarding the issue.
Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg said that the option of a subscription service is part of monetization options for the company. She said that they have thought of other methods of monetization just like subscriptions and that they always continue to consider everything.
Zuckerberg and Sandberg talked about the advantage of its ad-supported network when they made a report regarding first quarter results last April. They said that it enables Facebook to “reach most people at every income level.”