The social crack that is Facebook is *technically* free, since you don't have to pay actual money to use it.
But I've often argued it's not really free at all, since you "pay" in the form of data. Every time you "like" a status or a page, fill in a field on your profile, or indicate you're feeling or watching or cooking or reading something...anything...somebody out there is literally cashing in.
For all the belly-aching people do about privacy, clearly not many people care enough to try to move Zuck's proverbial needle. What's more, the Zuckerberg theory's hold on the Facebook profit scheme is stronger than ever, with all signs pointing to profits relying more and more on the assumption that we want to share MORE, not less.
How long can that last, really?
Should Facebook back itself into a corner on this one, how will it get out?
I'm wondering if they might not start doing a little more with LESS.
If you could use Facebook without ads, without privacy concerns, and without the silent understanding that your data will be sold to advertisers...would you pay for that?
If you run a business, would you pay for the ability to offer that kind of exclusive experience to customers WITHOUT asking them to leave the social network to which they are so decidedly addicted?
Yes and YES, is what I'm willing to bet people will say.
Might be an interesting business model to explore with those shareholders.