Spotify will remove ads if you pay. Why not Facebook? The option to subscribe could bring in the elusive 'grouchy' demographic.
Regular readers, and you may have met them both, will be aware that I am a miserable old fucker when it comes to social media.
I don't like corporate snooping or phoney words about connectedness. I am suspicious of huge Californian corporations that pretend to care about me and the people I pay to be my friends.
I am, I suppose, entirely unsuited to hold the post of exec ed, Mobile Entertainment.
Why? Because an industry that used to be about ringtones and laughably shit Java games is now largely about social media. It explains the parade of social mobile commerce services being excitedly leaked to TechCrunch every 25 minutes.
Mind you, some things do stay they same: like those old games, most of them are also laughably shit.
This social thing has reached ridiculous proportions. For example, last year I met iZettle, the Swedish firm that's trying to 'do a Square' with its credit card reading dongle. All very nice and impressive. But then they spoiled it by showing me how easy it is to share details of your successful purchase on Facebook and Twitter.
"Hey, I've just had a cup of tea".
On reflection, it was always going to be this way - though few of us saw it coming. The phone is - yawn - the most social bit of tech ever invented. And, as IAB chair Richard Eyre said at yesterday's Mobile Engage event, it's the only device that comes as a blank page to be populated and personalised by you.
As I write, Facebook is preparing to launch an IPO on the famous Lemming exchange in the US that could bag it $100bn. It's a ridiculous number for a company that made around $4 billion in revenue in 2011, and it just shows that investors are like ants – in the sense that they are hive animals, not that they carry around food crumbs that are bigger than their heads.
I don't really do Facebook. I know I should, and I do have a page. But I just find it too intrusive and bit spooky, that whole data tracking thing.
Which got me wondering, why doesn't Facebook charge?
This argument has come up before, and always been shouted down because it's assumed any payment would be compulsary. But what if it was voluntary?
Facebook currently makes about $1.21 per user per quarter. If it charged $10 a year in return for a site with no ads and no creepy behavioural tracking, it would bring it twice as much money from those users.
The counter argument is that ad revenue is the lifeblood of Facebook (82 per cent of revs) and that it can't afford to undermine this model. But surely the fee would be paid only by users that reject the devil's bargain with advertisers anyway?
And besides, paying a subscription would not prevent users from engaging with other revenue-raising channels like Facebook Credits. In this sense, there would still be room for Facebook to 'monetise' its fee paying users.
It won't happen, of course. No one's allowed to pay for anything on the web now. So I guess I'll have to keep my money, and spend it on stuff that I haven't seen advertised on Facebook.
Like porn. Or Nazi memorabilia.