It’s not every day that the founder of one company decides to tell a competitor how to run its business, but Biz Stone decided to do just that this week.
Stone, one of Twitter’s three co-founders, revealed in a post on Medium that he recently started using Facebook again after taking a long hiatus from the social network because he became “overwhelmed” by the “thousands of settings, features and choices” that were added since it launched.
Now that he’s back on Facebook, Stone says he’s come to recognize its ads are not “particularly useful or engaging,” and he believes the social network should offer a premium option that would let users pay $10 a month to get rid of the ads — similar to the way music-streaming services such as Pandora and Spotify operate.
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.
Anywhoo, now that I’m using it and thinking about it, I’ve got an idea for Facebook. 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.
Stone certainly isn’t the first to suggest that Facebook consider a freemium model, but his comments are all the more notable considering he comes from a rival service. Of course, the obvious question is whether Stone would also push for Twitter to introduce a premium option to get rid of all the promoted trends and tweets, but perhaps he’ll address that in a future Medium post.
Stone left Twitter in 2011 to work with cofounder Ev Williams on other startup ventures at The Obvious Corp, a startup incubator, which helped launched several projects including Medium. Earlier this year, Stone confirmed that he is working full-time on his next startup, Jelly, which will be a mobile app to help people “do good.”
Do you agree with Stone’s idea? Share in the comments.