Simon Says: Facebook is NOT Charging

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The news hit my mini-feed like a ton of bricks. The truth is scarier than any horror film you've seen this year...

Facebook is changing and about to start charging it's users.

We've known for a while the company isn't as profitable as it needs to be and it's looking into an IPO. But is this move right for the company?

Personally I think Facebook should start charging users, in particular the ones who start these stupid rumours, and the people who pass them on should get charged a little bit more.

For the past 48 hours I've been removing old school friends who I only spoke to on their birthday because I was fed up of reading a never ending feed of unsubstantiated complaints that Facebook will start to charge.

Apparently everyone on my Friends list missed the label on the homepage which declared (quite succinctly) that Facebook is free, and always will be:

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Now that rant is over, I would like to comment on the recent changes to Facebook.

The new Timeline feature actually looks awesome and although I am not a fan of the real-time feed I can see its purpose. Every time Facebook tweaks anything it effects a large number of people. You could even say it effects a large percentage of the worlds population. They are never going to be able to please everyone.

With that in mind I find it comical that people complain about a free service. It's one thing to moan that you might have to pay for a service you previously didn't have to, but if you don't pay for the service you can only sit by impotently if they chose to adjust their layout, design, functionality or even name.

Between the updates of people complaining about the new "cost" of social networking, other people were moaning they preferred the "old" Facebook - coincidentally these people also complained the last time that Facebook changed it's design, and they said they prefer the "old" layout to what is now the old layout (if that makes sense).

I could draw a Venn diagram showing the two groups, because in the middle (those who thought both that Facebook were going to start charging and that they didn't like the new layout) are the most brain dead collection of people who no longer inhabit my Friends list.

To these people, all around the globe, I just want to say:

Facebook has redesigned its layout to attract more advertisers and gain more revenue so that you don't have to pay to use the service. It makes no sense for the company to start charging you. You have options of where you can socialize online and they need you a lot more than you need them. As a result, they will never charge you, only the brands and companies who want to market to you.

If you want to escape the new pricing structure from Facebook, they'll be keeping the site free to anyone who shares this article and if you want to avoid the new Facebook, you can do so by clicking the 'Account' button in the top corner, then 'Log Out'.

Photo (cc) Exey Panteleev


sexist imagery

I am amazed to find a picture like this on the front page of your site. I don't think I shall be wanting to join this community.


No Offence Meant...


Thanks very much, we appreciate your view.

I'm really sorry if you find this image offensive in any way.

Also, I'd like to clarify that I chose the image for this post, not Simon.



You don't pay so don't complain

I'm personally a bit fed of with (not of) the meme that because Facebook (or any other service) is a 'free' service, the users should suck it up, i.e. if you don't pay you don't play.

I think on the whole we understand the financial relationship we have with Facebook. And I think on the whole we are not averse to change. That said, we do form a relationship with these services and they do encourage us to do that. So when they make changes which seem arbitary, but which are always biased towards their side, we get a bit unhappy.

Then we get Panglossian commentators who trot out the 'you don't pay so you don't get to say' line, and the 'it's all looking very interesting, this new stuff, so suck it up'. We do pay, albeit in a roundabout way. When new roads are built, for example, I don't pay towards them directly, but I am a taxpayer (in theory). I have a voice and I will use it to state what I feel. Otherwise you get a disenfranchised polity which is not good for either side.

I'm a big boy and I can look after my relationship to these things, but consider that a lot of people come to rely on Facebook et al for everyday human relationships. What about the non-tech people who have just got to grips with Facebook as was and who are about to be thrown into confusion for the second time in a month? Maybe the changes are unstoppable, but we get no warning, no support, no option for transition. It is just assumed that everybody will carry on much the same as before once they've caught their breath.

Sometimes it would be good to hear commentators with a louder voice stand up and say, take a bit more effort, that's our lives you're messing with.