by: Elizabeth Balboa, Benzinga Staff Writer
Facebook, Inc. FB 0.22% is reportedly testing a paid, ad-free site to determine whether such an offering would allay users’ privacy concerns and catalyze growth, but early research suggests it won’t have the intended effect.
According to a survey by Alpha HQ, 79 percent of Facebook users would rather use a free version of the site supported by third-party ads than pay $1 per month for an ad-free experience.
The same survey found that:
- 84 percent of users would rather leave Facebook altogether than pay $1 for one-on-one messaging;
- 87 percent would rather leave than pay to view and register for events; and
- 84 percent would rather leave than pay to view and join groups.
This means that, if Facebook attempts to monetize the site with subscription services, it could face challenges in repeating last year’s $41 billion in largely ad-based revenue.
Facebook might have to do something to circumvent data-driven ad strategies, though. Alpha’s respondents were by and large concerned with protecting their privacy on social media.
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