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Most people wouldn't pay for Facebook, survey says

Four out of 5 Facebook users say they wouldn't pay $1 a month to banish ads on the social network, according to a recent survey by user research firm Alpha.

Data: Alpha; Graphic: Harry Stevens/Axios

Why it matters: Facebook is reportedly test-marketing a paid, ad-free version of its service. Despite the recent onslaught of news about the Cambridge Analytica data privacy scandal and the "#deletefacebook" movement it inspired, the company's vast user base may not be discontented enough to force a business-model change on Facebook.

Pay or leave? Alpha surveyed 1163 Facebook users. In other results, respondents overwhelmingly said that they'd leave the service if the company began to charge $1 per month for key features like private messaging, seeing/registering for events, and seeing/registering for groups.

  • One-on-one messaging: 84% would probably leave Facebook, 16% would pay.
  • Events: 87% would probably leave Facebook, 13% would pay.
  • Groups: 84% would probably leave Facebook, 16% would pay.

Breaking up is hard: Of users asked which social media service they've stopped using, 38% said "none," followed by 33% for MySpace —suggesting that a mass exodus is unlikely.

  • Of those who did stop using a social media service, the top reasons were a lack of network or family and friends, and a lack of the features they wanted.

But, but, but: Facebook users nevertheless don't seem to trust social media services, including Facebook, with their data.

  • Asked how concerned they are about their privacy on social media, 26% gave a "5," or "extremely concerned," rating, with another 28% giving their concern a "4" and 31% choosing a "3" rating.
  • When asked how trustworthy they they find Facebook to keep their data secure, 43% chose a "3," followed by 19% rating it a "2," and 12% rating it a "1," or "not at all untrustworthy."

Methodology: Alpha collected data from U.S. Facebook users between April 13 and 22. The respondent sample is balanced for gender but not across geography.

The story has been updated with information about the research methodology.