A friend just posted this on Facebook:
FACEBOOK JUST RELEASED THEIR PRICE GRID FOR MEMBERSHIP. $9.99 PER MONTH FOR GOLD MEMBER SERVICES, $6.99 PER MONTH FOR SILVER MEMBER SERVICES, $3.99 PER MONTH FOR BRONZE MEMBER SERVICES, FREE IF YOU COPY AND PASTE THIS MESSAGE BEFORE MIDNIGHT TONIGHT. WHEN YOU SIGN ON TOMORROW MORNING, YOU WILL BE PROMPTED FOR PAYMENT INFO… IT IS OFFICIAL. IT WAS EVEN ON THE NEWS. FACEBOOK WILL START CHARGING DUE TO THE NEW PROFILE CHANGES. IF YOU COPY THIS ON YOUR WALL, YOUR ICON WILL TURN BLUE AND FACEBOOK WILL BE FREE FOR YOU. PLEASE PASS THIS MESSAGE ON. IF NOT, YOUR ACCOUNT WILL BE DELETED IF YOU DO NOT PAY…
Is it true?
No, no, a thousand times no.
This silly hoax has been going around for a long, long time and that’s all it is: a hoax. There might be many problems with Facebook, but being charged for it isn’t one of them.
In fact, the answer is there right in front of you every time you login.
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Facebook forever free
Log out of Facebook in preparation for logging back in again and you’ll see something like this:
Note the part where it says “It’s free and always will be.”
Question answered. Facebook is not going to charge for access.
If you’re ever not sure, just log out and re-read the sign-in page. As long as it says “It’s free and always will be”, anything that says otherwise is a hoax, plain and simple.
How Facebook makes money
With lord-knows how many subscribers, it would seem that charging for access would be a logical step to raise revenue.
Facebook doesn’t need it.
It’s more important to Facebook to have as many users as possible – for free – so that it can make money in another way.
I know, because I’ve paid for Facebook advertising in the past.
And if you look to the right on your Facebook page, you’ll see ads.
I’m guessing, but I’m sure that Facebook makes more in advertising per subscriber than they would by charging for access – particularly given the number of users that would leave if they did.
Heck, the best thing that could happen to Google+ would be if Facebook started charging for access.
It’s not going to happen. It just doesn’t make sense.
Facebook itself has been clear all along
Facebook’s been really clear about it. This FAQ from their help center pretty much says it all:
Will Facebook ever charge for service?
No. We will always keep Facebook a free service for everyone.
So please ignore anything that says otherwise, and for heaven’s sake, don’t go sharing the hoax.
But, but … things could change!
I suppose. But the text in their login page would change, the answer to the FAQ would change, and you’d hear about it from legitimate news sources rather than some status update with some completely unknown origin (and they certainly wouldn’t do it in ALL CAPS).
As I said, it simply doesn’t pass the sniff test – it doesn’t make sense.
It’s not going to happen.