Facebook users have been posting status messages over the weekend, saying that the social networking giant will charge a $9.99 gold membership unless they forward a message before midnight.
The following is one of the messages that float around the social network:
“FACEBOOK JUST RELEASED THEIR PRICE GRID FOR MEMBERSHIP,$9.99 PER MONTH FOR GOLD MEMBER SERVICES,$6.99 PER MONTH FOR SILVER MEMBER SERVICES,$3.99 PER MONTH FOR BRONZE MEMBER SERVICES, FREE IF YOU COPY AND PASTE THIS MESSAGE BEFORE MIDNIGHT TONIGHT. WHEN YOU SIGN ON TOMORROW MORNING YOU WILL BE PROMPTED FOR PAYMENT INFO… IT IS OFFICIAL IT WAS EVEN ON THE NEWS. FACEBOOK WILL START CHARGING DUE TO THE NEW 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.”
Computer security company Sophos said that the hoax made users send the message to their friends, so they won’t be charged $3.99 to $9.99 a month.
“It’s amazing what people will believe when they are sent a message from a trusted friend – but let me assure you, Facebook is *not* going to ask you for your payment when you sign onto the site tomorrow morning,” said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos.
The security firm said that the message claims that Facebook has released a “price grid” for membership, including $3.99 for Bronze Member services, $6.99 Silver Member services and $9.99 Gold Member services.
It is said that if Facebook were to charge $1 for a lifetime membership, it would gross $800 million, and if they were to charge $1 per month, it would receive a staggering $9.6 billion a year, assuming that every user pays up. The social network is expected to make around $4.7 billion in revenue this year, a majority of which comes from advertising.
Users should not believe everything they read on the internet. Also, don’t copy and paste warnings from your friend’s status messages if they tell you to do so. If Facebook is going to charge users, which is not going to happen, you will be hearing it from them first.