FACEBOOK WILL START CHARGING. DUE TO THE PROFILE CHANGES. (hoax)

FACEBOOK WILL START CHARGING. DUE TO THE PROFILE CHANGES. (hoax)

Summary: A new version of an old hoax is spreading on Facebook, trying to warn users that the company will soon start charging you to use the service. It's bogus, of course.

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Update: Scammers have a new version version up now. Hoax: FACEBOOK JUST RELEASED THEIR PRICE GRID FOR MEMBERSHIP.

Facebook users are warning each other that the social network will soon start charging its users due to the upcoming profile changes. While these people likely have good intentions, the truth is that this is a hoax and Facebook will never ask you to pay to use its service.

The "advice" comes in the form of the following message:

IT IS OFFICIAL. IT WAS EVEN ON THE NEWS. FACEBOOK WILL START CHARGING. DUE TO THE PROFILE CHANGES. IF YOU COPY THIS ON YOUR WALL YOUR ICON WILL TURN BLUE AND FACEBOOK WILL BE FREE FOR YOU. PLEASE PASS THIS MESSAGE ON, IF NOT YOUR ACCOUNT WILL BE DELETED IF YOU DO NOT PAY

The hoax, which is spreading like wildfire on Facebook, is not the first of its kind. Many scams have claimed Facebook will ask you to pay in one form or another, but they're all bogus. The company even tries to remind its users on the website's main login page (if you're logged in, you'll have to log out to see it): "It's free and always will be."

Facebook makes a lot of money from the ads viewed and clicked by its 800 million active users. In fact, the social networking giant is expected to make $4.27 billion in revenue this year, 89 percent of which will come from advertising.

As a general word of caution, don't believe everything you read on the Internet. Also, don't blindly copy and paste warnings just because your Facebook friend's status tells you to do so. Although you probably mean well, you could be helping a hoax become more popular on the social network.

See also:

Topic: Social Enterprise

Emil Protalinski

About Emil Protalinski

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years,
he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars
Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

25 comments
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  • RE: FACEBOOK WILL START CHARGING. DUE TO THE PROFILE CHANGES. (hoax)

    Maybe FB could earn a quick buck by charging the uneducated sheep who copy and paste this rubbish and believe by doing so will keep it free!!
    Parassassin
    • No doubt

      @Parassassin
      Agreed. Anyone that buys into something like that is probably too ignorant to be on the internet anyway.
      shawkins
      • RE: FACEBOOK WILL START CHARGING. DUE TO THE PROFILE CHANGES. (hoax)

        @shawkins Tell you they are going to loose a lot of people. Me and my husband too
        carol1948
      • RE: FACEBOOK WILL START CHARGING. DUE TO THE PROFILE CHANGES. (hoax)

        @shawkins You know, you could just put the Facebook Gold Account image as your profile pic and troll your friends.
        R220
    • RE: FACEBOOK WILL START CHARGING. DUE TO THE PROFILE CHANGES. (hoax)

      @Parassassin your right. they should have left it along. like the saying goes. IF IT AIN'T BROKEN, DON'T FIX IT.
      carol1948
  • RE: FACEBOOK WILL START CHARGING. DUE TO THE PROFILE CHANGES. (hoax)

    i think its bs,its alll ways something about fb changeing different things,Everyboby has problems w all the changes and alls every body does is bi... and complain.Just b happy u dont have to pay 4 something as great as fb.Grow up every 1 and stop believeing evry thing u hear.Thats how i feel,ty
    my3angelz@...
    • RE: FACEBOOK WILL START CHARGING. DUE TO THE PROFILE CHANGES. (hoax)

      @my3angelz@...

      A little time with the spellcheck function of your browser would help add merit to your point instead of implying the contrary.

      That said, there is a reason that Facebook doesn't charge its users. Like ZDNet, we are not Facebook's customers, we are their product. We pay for Facebook with our privacy and with our ad views and clicks. However, it is not wrong for Facebook's user base to complain. More to the point, the advertisers should be pressuring Facebook to more consciously make changes, as decreased satisfaction from the users devalues the product that they are purchasing.

      Joey
      voyager529
  • RE: FACEBOOK WILL START CHARGING. DUE TO THE PROFILE CHANGES. (hoax)

    I think,If you hear something that is going to effect you in anyway,you should do the research and find out the the real deal.The truth is out there.TY zdnet.
    patjree
  • RE: FACEBOOK WILL START CHARGING. DUE TO THE PROFILE CHANGES. (hoax)

    so ok...i an many of my ppl,have coped an paste this message so will it be free for use or will you still have to pay if so...it was fun while it lasted.
    darnea
    • RE: FACEBOOK WILL START CHARGING. DUE TO THE PROFILE CHANGES. (hoax)

      @darnea Please read the article again. It is not going to start charging! This hoax has been around since the 90's with different sites.
      jollygreenguy@...
    • RE: FACEBOOK WILL START CHARGING. DUE TO THE PROFILE CHANGES. (hoax)

      @darnea Same here, plus in the future, I would not put it pass them to do so. Heck, they are changing everything else. If they would just leave things alone in the first place, ppl would not be spreading rumors.
      plogan721
      • RE: FACEBOOK WILL START CHARGING. DUE TO THE PROFILE CHANGES. (hoax)

        @plogan721

        People would be spreading rumors anyway. I don't know if you recall, but back in the 1990's, there were rumors that e-mail was going to start costing money. So long as there are gullible people like the parent post who thinks that Facebook is going to start charging users unless they repost a status, there will be rumors that circulate. This is the entire point that Emil is trying to make - anyone wanting to spread a rumor doesn't need a reason to do so.

        As I said in another response, you are Facebook's product, not their customer. It is in Facebook's best interest to keep Facebook free to their users, as they would lose more money by changing their entire business model than they would get through subscriptions.

        Joey
        voyager529
  • RE: FACEBOOK WILL START CHARGING. DUE TO THE PROFILE CHANGES. (hoax)

    You know something, If you start charging for this sight you are going to loose a lot of people, including me and my husband. We can not afford to pay for this sight. All my friends on this sight have stated the same thing. WE DON'T USE SIGHTS THAT WE HAVE TO PAY FOR. SO STOP CHANGING THINGS. IT WAS FINE THE WAY IT WAS IN THE BEGINING. ALL YOU DO IS KEEP ADDING STUPID THINGS FOR PEOPLE TO GO INTO. THERE WAS NOTHING WRONG FROM THE BEGINING SO WHAT DID YOU CHANGE IT FOR!!!!!!!
    carol1948
    • RE: FACEBOOK WILL START CHARGING. DUE TO THE PROFILE CHANGES. (hoax)

      @carol1948 I don't know if you read the article but they are NOT charging for the site. They would loose too much advertising revenue.
      HanShotFirst
      • RE: FACEBOOK WILL START CHARGING. DUE TO THE PROFILE CHANGES. (hoax)

        @HanShotFirst - See even if you provide people with a news article they won't read or comprehend it. No wonder these rumors are so successful since the 90's with various sites!
        jollygreenguy@...
    • RE: FACEBOOK WILL START CHARGING. DUE TO THE PROFILE CHANGES. (hoax)

      @carol1948 You should read the article, or re-read it.
      jollygreenguy@...
  • RE: FACEBOOK WILL START CHARGING. DUE TO THE PROFILE CHANGES. (hoax)

    I FOR ONE WISH PEOPLE WOULD STOP POSTING ABOUT FACEBOOK CHARGING AS IT IS GETTING BORING SEEING IT EVERY 2 MINS OF THE DAY.
    nigelfacebook
  • RE: FACEBOOK WILL START CHARGING. DUE TO THE PROFILE CHANGES. (hoax)

    Why you people keep saying that facebook will charge...Stop the BS....Every time you log in into facebook it clearly says "It's free and always will be."...whatever this blog is or whatever you are trying to say about facebook has no base..so stop alarming people....and cut the BS.
    Guanina76
  • Wow

    I don't know which is sad. The idiots that copy and paste this hoax or the poor spelling from these posters.
    Carolina41
  • Anti-Facebook propaganda via Google+ PR agencies

    I've seen trash like this on FB before, but having reviewed the epidemiology of this example and tracing back a few examples, to me this looks like Google+ propaganda originating from a PR agency.

    http://www.timacheson.com/Blog/2011/jul/google_propaganda
    Tim Acheson