Paying to Not See Ads
Despite being an advertiser myself, I wish Facebook would open up a paid membership tier or two where membership would constitute being able to opt out of some or all ads. While it's a good start that users can opt out of feed notifications from applications (even if for now they must do so at the individual application level... kinda tedious), fundamentally it would be nice if users could opt out of Facebook Social Ads at the account level. At one more level up, users could pay a slightly higher fee to additionally opt out of any/all ads from 3rd-party social ad servers (a space into which there are new entrants appearing frequently nowadays).
I have no idea how well it has worked out for LiveJournal on whole, but I know that as a user there I certainly like being able to pay to not look at ads. Regardless, the idea of usability being largely about UI died with Web 1.0. Nowadays, the matter of how define usability is being influenced by how social networks grapple with the issue of monetization. So on that note, letting users pay to opt out of ads (authored by people like me) is something that must be at least seriously considered not just by Facebook, but also Myspace and any/all other reputable social network... Besides, on the surface at least it seems strategically compelling, even if it is pitting two forces against one another (charge advertisers to display ads on one hand, charge users to not see ads on the other).
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- 30.06.08 / 2pm