The continuing Web rumor about Facebook starting to charge users began with a hoax message rolling out and spreading virally, shortly after the site introduced the Timeline and Ticker, claiming that the users will have to pay for the new profile changes.
“THIS IS OFFICIAL… IT WAS EVEN ON THE NEWS… FACEBOOK WILL START CHARGING DUE TO THE NEW PROFILE CHANGES… IF YOU COPY THIS ON YOUR WALL YOUR ICON WILL TURN BLUE AND FACEBOOK WILL BE FREE FOR YOU. PLEASE PASS THIS MESSAGE ON, IF NOT YOUR ACCOUNT WILL BE DELETED IF YOU DO NOT PAY!!”
While the chain mesage's origin is unknown, this is not the first time Facebook has been the target of hoaxes claiming membership fees.
Facebook now claims some 800 million active users, with more than half logged on at any given time. Most of Facebook’s revenue comes from user participation. Charging users for maintenance would lead to a decline in the users’ participation. By introducing Timeline and Ticker, Facebook is trying to give more reasons to its users to keep coming back to Facebook.
A rumor on the Internet caught our attention. We have no plans to charge for Facebook. It's free and always will be, declared Facebook in a post with 460,678 likes, 46,029 comments and 102,825 shares.
Facebook’s services are ad-supported and its revenue is expected to reach $4.27 billion in 2011, according to ZDNet.
Though Facebook has again denied it will charge users, the rumor will not die.