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Facebook tests waters again for subscription-based service

A Mark Zuckerberg figure with people in angry emoji masks.
Protestors in London. Photo: Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images

Since Facebook's recent data privacy crisis, the social media giant has run new marketing tests for an ad-free subscription-based service, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: Advertising has always been Facebook's business model, and the company has argued that it's the only way it can serve customers who might not be able to afford a subscription. Past research at Facebook found that the subscription approach wouldn't be popular — but if the company begins to see disenchanted users slip away, a privacy-sensitive paid offering could help it hang onto them.