15pc of Facebook users would pay for an ad-free service – survey

26 Jul 2013

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Although Facebook’s recent earnings call has demonstrated the social network’s prowess in mobile advertising revenue, some of its users would rather pay to go ad-free, while a significant majority almost never engage with these ads, results from a survey conducted by London-based digital marketing agency Greenlight suggest.

The Search & Social Survey (2012-2013) from Greenlight queried about 500 people from around the world and found that 15pc of Facebook users would pay for an ad-free version of the social network, with 8pc willing to pay from US$5-10 per month for it.

As Facebook’s Q2 financial results show, mobile advertising has become a chief earner for the company, with about 41pc of its US$1.8bn revenue coming from mobile devices.

However, Greenlight’s survey reveals that 70pc of users either never or rarely click on advertisements or sponsored listings they see on Facebook, which surely calls into question the value Facebook mobile advertising has for advertisers.

Greenlight’s survey results follow a suggestion from Twitter co-founder Biz Stone that a paid-for ad-free version of Facebook could net the company about US$12bn per year, even if just 10pc of users opted in.

Elaine Burke is managing editor of Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com