Will Facebook Charge Users? No. — Brands? Maybe.

Will Facebook Charge Brands?Businesses May Have to Pay to Have an Identity on Facebook.

Facebook promises they will never charge a fee for its basic use according to the Facebook FAQ and an interview with Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg.

There have been numerous pages/groups created around this topic which continues to drive a mass hysteria among average users who vow they will not pay to use Facebook. Some of these pages have been known to initiate a virus while others just drive the frenzy.

Keep in mind the fact, that in order to be profitable, Facebook needs users and ALOT of them to turn a profit via their main revenue streams: Advertising and Applications. Charging its user base would certainly cause Facebook to lose more in ad/app revenue that it would gain in the small amount of people wiling to pay. It was in fact only last year in September, after reaching the 300 million user milestone that Facebook broke even for the first time and was considered a viable business.

Brands, however may want to watch out…

Facebook higher-ups are not ruling out the option to charge brands in some way for using the Facebook platform to engage customers. Which to me, says that if they aren’t ruling it out now, they are already in discussion about it behind closed doors. There are seemingly easy ways in which Facebook could charge brands for commercial use (ie: fan pages), however I doubt the fee would be exorbitant when you look at what a brand stands to gain by engaging customers on Facebook. We strongly believe the ROE (return on effort) for businesses choosing Facebook as a social platform far outweigh the potential risk of a future pay-to-participate solution.

More to come on this subject for sure.

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