Dear Facebook. Please let me pay you.

let me pay you

By Mark Schaefer

There is probably nothing more debated, despised, and dissected on the social web than Facebook’s ever-changing scheme to monetize its vast audience.

One of the newest ploys — attaching advertisements to our specific personal posts — seems remarkably invasive.

My Facebook mobile stream is now dominated by banner ads. I have to pay extra to assure the people who like me actually see what I have to say (and I still can’t reach ALL of them).

Tom Webster has written humorously and accurately about some of the non-sensical “targeted ads” that are pretty far off the mark.

This all adds up to a really stupid business model. Facebook, you’re just pissing off people every day. Just let me give you a monthly fee to make all this go away, OK?

I understand the company needs to make money (and I WANT them to make money) but why not at least honor your customers by providing an option that allows us to stop being annoyed? Let us give you a few bucks a month to end the insanity.

Recurring revenue, with zero customer acquisition cost. Sounds like an enviable plan to me!

I can’t think of a reason why Facebook would not create this option … other than perhaps they have done a calculation showing the potential to constantly annoy people and stir controversy will be more profitable over time than being good to its customers.

Another reason of course, and perhaps the primary one, is a source of pride that Facebook promises that “It’s free and always will be.”

OK, I get that. But I really, really, really want to give you money. More than a few of us would. What if your customers DON’T WANT IT TO BE FREE?

Let’s assume that the people who would pay for Facebook, like me, never click on ads any way. They’re just folks who don’t want to be bothered by the latest monetization scheme. So their current ad revenue potential is zero. If 1 percent of Facebook’s users paid $20 a year to make the ads disappear, that is $200 million to the bottom line from people who were contributing nothing, and probably would contribute nothing forever.

Heck, you can still charge us to water our Farmville crops, ping us to suggest a gift to send, or charge us for any other “extra” you come up with. Just get rid of the ads, let us access ALL of our friends, provide some measure of privacy — and the money is yours. Please. Take it.

Keynote speaker Mark SchaeferMark Schaefer is the chief blogger for this site, executive director of Schaefer Marketing Solutions, and the author of several best-selling digital marketing books. He is an acclaimed keynote speaker, college educator, and business consultant.  The Marketing Companion podcast is among the top business podcasts in the world. Contact Mark to have him speak to your company event or conference soon.

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