Facebook quietly remove long-standing 'free and always will be' slogan
Facebook has removed a long-running slogan from its homepage, which promised to keep the social media platform free for its users.
The tagline, which has been an integral part of the website's marketing since its inception back in 2005, has been changed from: "It's free and always will be" to "It's quick and easy ."
According to the Wayback Machine, a site which archives old websites, it appears that Facebook made the change sometime between August 6 and August 7, 2019.
Commenting on the change in an interview with Business Insider, digital law expert José Antonio Castillo stated: "Facebook is not free nor has it ever been. Facebook's currency was and still is it's users' personal data. It's never been free, though, because data is worth a lot of money."
Castillo went on to speculate that the change has been made due to European Union regulations passed in May of this year, which recognise that the exchange of data constitutes a form of payment and currency.
Regardless, there has been some speculation from those in the tech sector that Facebook may be considering a subscription-based model in the future.
Indeed, Facebook's own policy page explicitly states: "We don’t guarantee that platform will always be free." It also notes that the platform is required to: "Obtain adequate consent from people before using any Facebook technology that allows us to collect and process data about them," and "obtain consent from people before you give us information that you independently collected from them."
Facebook has not yet commented on the change.