April 01, 2009 |
You may have already read on the Wall Street Journal and in some other sources that Facebook’s Chief Financial Officer is leaving the rapidly-growing social network. Of course it is no wonder that everyone now wants to know how good Facebook is doing in terms of money. And while Facebook is claiming they are doing pretty fine already, my sources tell me that they will be doing even better with the new money-related plan that they will make public pretty soon.
The thing is that Mr. Gideon Yu used to be a proponent of advertising-only revenue for the social network but other top managers insisted on diversifying income and introducing paid accounts and rumors are this will be what the company will do now pretty soon.
Of course there will be a very simple paid option for premium users who just want to avoid ads on the site and also block things they hate (like sending an auto-reply “Leave me alone” whenever anyone throws a sheep at you). These accounts won’t be expensive and will probably cost under $20 per year (the details about pricing plans have not been confirmed yet) but there will be a range of other – much more powerful – accounts that will offer more opportunities to account holders and will be appealing enough for the most serious businesses to want to pay for them. The examples of such more powerful accounts include:
Human resource manager
This account will offer an HR manager in a company to be able to easier search for prospective candidates on Facebook and contact them directly and will also let them easier screen potential employees to make sure there is nothing suspicious about their Facebook activity that could get the company in a trouble if this or that person is hired. Access to accounts screening is limited to a particular area and a list of professions listed in candidates’ profiles. Such an account will cost about $100 per month and is mostly intended for corporate markets.
Now instead of hacking social networks to find out secret things about pop celebrities and extract their private photos and publish them everywhere, everything will be as simple as buying an account from Facebook (this is supposed to be pretty expensive – about $1,000 per month) and getting to all the information on a circle of celebrities that are in your area of interest.
This one is quite an obvious consequence of the previous one as many celebrities will now want to avoid having their accounts opened to the press easily – even for a high price. So for further even higher price Facebook will let anyone limit access from journalists to their accounts. I am not quite sure if pop stars will choose paying over simply deleting their accounts but probably some of them will add some cash to Facebook pockets.
Well, this is what we have always suspected: all the social networks are heavily used by FBI agents to track our activity everywhere and make sure they have complete files on everyone they may need in their work. So why not finally learn how to make money off it and sell accounts to FBI agents officially? Of course this one will be the most expensive account option of all as it is supposed to grant the largest access rights to their owners but this will probably pay if our suspicions are correct.
I can not confirm if this is a complete list of options available for new paid accounts on Facebook and when exactly the official announcement will happen but I am now quite certain we will soon see other social networks copying this idea to introduce an additional revenue stream of their own relying on the information they have about their users.