Twitter co-founder Biz Stone is long gone working on secret new projects, and apparently the return to the creative process has inspired a must-share idea he thinks can solve one-time competitor Facebook's revenue-generating woes.
Stone said that after finally learning to love Facebook -- he needs to use it to communicate with his new co-workers -- he believes the social network should offer people a choice to pay $10 a month to avoid ads. Because ads, which the company he used to run also uses to keep that service free, totally suck.
"In general, the ads on Facebook don't seem particularly useful or engaging. However, ads on the service are universally tolerated because that's what makes Facebook free and free is nice," Stone wrote on Medium, a (free) blogging platform developed and backed by Stone and his fellow Twitter co-founder Evan Williams.
"They could offer Facebook Premium. For $10 a month, people who really love Facebook (and can afford it), could see no ads. Maybe some special features too. If 10 percent of Facebook signed up, that's $1B a month in revenue. Not too shabby."
Pure genius, no? Perhaps, but it's a genius shared by many who have pontificated over the social network's revenue-making options over the years. Actually, the more brilliant idea hidden in Stone's aha! memo is that Facebook should charge for lessons on how to use Facebook.
"Camille [Camille Hart, chief of staff at Stone's startup, Jelly] actually leaned over my shoulder and helped me go through every setting to simplify my Facebook experience on iPhone. Now I'm keeping up with friends and family on Facebook like a billion other people," he wrote.
Even Facebook shareholders may be willing to get behind the charge-for-tutorials idea, because clearly they're confused too.