Thursday, December 11, 2008

Facebook, please let me pay you

I was dragged kicking and screaming to Facebook, but now that I'm there, and people I know from years past keep "friending" me (I love verbizing things), I'm actually starting to enjoy it. Everybody's there, and I actually feel "in touch" with people I'd lost touch with years ago, or who were fading from view. It's very nice that way. It's worth the random garbage on the site.

But you know, Facebook ultimately works for its advertisers, not for you and me. That bothers me, both in terms of what's happening with my data, what drives Facebook's features, and Facebook's long-term viability, especially in a knock-down economy like this.

So, I have a wild idea. Let me pay you, Facebook. $10 a month.

And for that $10 a month I want you to kiss goodbye to your advertisers. I don't want my data analyzed, scraped, or monetized. I want you to guarantee complete ownership of my data.

And I don't want to have to go to your site to get status updates. I want to get them on email, on SMS, on IM. It's not a surprise you can't do that today, because that would mean not seeing all the ads and "additional features".

And don't be like cable. I remember when cable first came out, the idea was, we pay you, and we don't have to watch ads. Five years later, cable was full of ads. To me that's a breach of trust.

The thing is, Facebook has become a black hole. So many people are there, it's where everyone meets. It doesn't matter if other services are free. Everyone's hanging out at Facebook. It has reached critical mass, and people are addicted to Facebook. It's like their morning paper.

So, charge a cover charge (at least as an option), and become beholden to your users, not your advertisers. Please.


branajam said...

I've had a similar experience on Facebook. I was a high school English and German teacher for ten years, and now a lot of my former students are "friending" me.

GhostOfMachined said...

sure it would be nice to get rid of adds/etc, though the way I see it we are paying too much money for computer stuff already, sure you might say well they have to get paid somehow. Well for a computer itself is expensive, then for getting on the net, then other services. When is enough enough?
In my frame of mind right now, trying to get someone to pay for facebook, is like paying for "Irc" or "open source" software...
Then recently in the past week there was some uproar on facebook with a group created that said facebook would start charging after Dec 31st..
Then the group makes like a ghost...