Facebook filed a patent in 2011 titled “Paid Profile Personalization,” and the details of it are just coming to light. The patent contains some proposals that, if they come to pass, could revolutionize the way Facebook makes money.
One of the highlights of the patent, and the one that’s getting the most attention, would allow users to pay a monthly fee to no longer see the tailored advertising that shows up along the sides of their profiles. They could instead replace them with pictures of their choosing. Another, even creepier option would allow users to choose which of their friends are displayed as their friends on their profiles (the patent suggests a users’ closest friends, or “most attractive female friends”).
Users could also replace the “About” section under their profile picture with a brief status message created by them. “After receiving a large number of comments or ‘likes’ on a particular status message, the user may receive a dialog box prompting the user with the text: ‘Would you like to personalize your profile with this status message for 10 credits a month?’ the patent reads.
The patent’s ideas may never come to fruition on the site, but they still offer an interesting glimpse into the minds of top Facebook executives as they seek any and all ways to monetize the site.
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