Would Anyone Pay to Network on Facebook?

Media executives at “The New Kings of Media” breakfast in NYC debated the future of user-generated content, including who will pay for the stuff.

John Rose, managing director of the Boston Consulting Group, had an interesting theory. He sees UCG heading into two directions: public and private content.


In most cases, content developed and viewed by the public will have to be ad supported, he said, doubting there are enough folks willing to dish out money to support the vast amount of content.

Having said that, he anticipates some business users will pay for access to UGC. Those customers would get “proprietary first rights, first look access to content,” he said. (Sounds an awful lot like what Barrons.com is doing with its weekly mag.)

“There will probably be company-paid models for things like LinkedIn and Facebook,” he continued. “There are elements of Facebook morphing to provide interesting networks…It’s not consumer pay, but it’s direct pay.”

If LinkedIn’s already doing it (account holders can pay between $20 to $200 a month for more features), why won’t Facebook users? Maybe a few more have to graduate from high school and college first.

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