Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) – a much-watched stock among hedge funds we track – has been very much in control of how its profiles pages look since it launched almost 10 years ago. This presents some consistency across the site and restricts the amount of personalization users can have on their pages. However, Facebook has leveraged some of that control to add its own items, like advertising, to each page.
With Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) under pressure to create revenue since its went public last May, the company hs been stepping up its advertising across the entire site. In that vein, it’s likely that Facebook would not willingly give up its current advertising real estate, even if it annoys users. But would users be so annoyed that they would be willing to pay Facebook to take the advertising off the profile pages and give users more flexibility to customize their pages?
Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) had a patent application from late 2011 that was finally published, showing a way to personalize a user’s profile by providing users with the option to remove certain elements from their profile pages (like advertisements) for a monthly fee (listed in the example as Facebook Credits). Examples of this type of personalization could be to replace ads on the right side of a user’s Timeline with favorite photos; another example may allow a user to manually select the friends’ photos he or she wishes to display (instead of the current random friend displays every time a user’s page is visited); or users can replace the “About” section of the profile with a permanent status message – like a favorite quote or funny joke.
What do you think? Would you pay for the opportunity to customize your profile page and eliminate the ads? Do you think Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) will follow through on this concept, whether it gets the patent or not? Let us know your thoughts about this story in the comments section below.
DISCLOSURE: I own no positions in any stock mentioned.
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