If you’ve been around long enough, you probably remember the days of 56K modems and paying $19.99 a month for internet access that, at the time, was considered blazing fast. You may also remember companies like NetZero which are still around with a variety of offerings for dial-up internet. What you may not remember are the short-lived days of ad-based internet service. For no cost to the customer, internet providers would serve a banner ad along the top of your screen while you surf. What companies soon learned was that the ads were annoying to customers, and people would rather pay for the internet. So it begs the question in an ad-infested social media world…” Would you pay for an ad-free Twitter or Facebook?”.
Social media sites have always lived by the creed that they would be free no matter what. Of course, this comes at a cost to the user to be served a variety of ads in a number of ways. Whether it’s promoted tweets or ads to the side of your main Facebook page, more and more of these sometimes annoying ads have been showing up throughout social media sites in an effort for them to drive revenue. While these ads have in fact worked for social media sites, it’s also getting quite apparent that users appreciate the ads less and less, and their relevancy drops and companies target broader markets.
So what would it mean to have an ad-free Facebook or Twitter account? How much would you expect to pay? On average, the click-through rate for ads on Facebook and Twitter is fairly low, so IF they ever offered an ad-free version of either service, we’d expect the cost to be fairly low, most likely under $10 per month, and possibly under $5. What this means to you is that you’re no longer served promoted Facebook updates or Twitter Tweets without your consent. What this also means is that a once-free service is no longer free, so it becomes a little bit of a catch-22.
With social media channels striving to earn money and prove their worth in the competitive ad-serving world, we think you mind more and more ads infesting your social media sites, and you may need to take your own action. This would in fact lead to the possible offering of paid social media sites, which could be worth it depending on the growth within the ad markets of each site.