Facebook's changes, announced last week, have predictably revived the persistent rumor that the site will charge its users one day.
Facebook has denied this, with a motto its front page proclaiming: It's free and always will be.
This is not the first pay rumor for Facebook. They usually crop up when Facebook launches a new feature or redesigns a small aspect of the Web site.
After the changes rolled out at last week's F8 conference led to more false rumors, Facebook responded Monday on its official page: A rumor on the Internet caught our attention. We have no plans to charge for Facebook. It's free and always will be.
This idea didn't really make any sense. This would seem a strange way to think about social networking, since from Facebook's point of view, its real customers are not the users. The users are actually products for Facebook. The true customers are advertisers who pay huge sums of money for using the information posted on the site by people who, in turn, help targeting the advertisements in a better manner. The estimate of eMarketer is that Facebook will earn $3.8 billion this year, which is expected to grow even higher in the coming year.
As of now, the site has 800 million active users, with more than half of them logging in on any given day, according to the site's statistics. According to The New York Times, Facebook's IPO could be as high as $76 a share with an estimated overall value of $33.7 billion.
So once and for all, do not buy into the rumor of Facebook charging. It will never happen as it is in no need of money from its users.