Facebook’s Not Going to Charge You, So Stop Worrying

Evil Facebook Mail

Evil Facebook MailAnother day, another chain letter on Facebook. A new one, written entirely in upper-case, started making rounds on Facebook after the new profile design was announced at the f8 conference.

It claims that Facebook will start charging users due to the new design, and there’s only one way to avoid paying and still keep their accounts active — spread the news.

Variant 1
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

Variant 2
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..

As ridiculous as it sounds, the message was being re-posted on Facebook every few minutes today. And it’s surprising that so many users are still falling for this Hotmail-era trick.

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.

Why It Makes No Sense

You are Facebook’s product, not its customer. The company makes money by selling to advertisers the time your eyeballs spend on its social network. It wants as many eyeballs as possible on its website, and charging users is a sure-fire way to lose some.

To put it simply, Facebook is the barn owner and its users are the piggies. It provides free accommodation and food so that it can sell them as products. Farmers will never make their pigs pay rent (the free barn provided by Google is kinda cozy after all).

(Fact: Facebook made $2 billion in 2010, and it’s projected to double its revenue in 2011)

Facebook and You

Even If Facebook Insist On Charging…

Why would Facebook exempt anyone from paying just because they’ve re-posted a status update? To show that they are still active on Facebook? Maybe not. I’m pretty sure a company that’s valued at more than $65 billion can afford to store everyone’s activity logs and know exactly how much time we’ve wasted.

Graham Cluley of Naked Security says it’s poppycock. I concur.

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