Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Source: http://www.cse.iitb.ac.in
According to the patent application titled ‘Paid Profile Personalization’, users are allowed to replace advertisements and other elements appearing on their page, which are currently controlled by the company.
“The user may select one or more social networking objects to replace advertisements or other elements that are normally displayed to visitors of the user’s profile page that are otherwise controlled by the social networking system,” the application says.
Among embodiments in the applications include elements on user profile pages that are automatically generated and controlled in design by Facebook.
However these privileges will not come free as the patent application notes: “In particular embodiments, the user is billed on a recurring basis for profile personalization.”
Many experts see this move by the company as part of its future monetisation strategy.
Others, however, see it as evidence the company is loosening its grip on profile outlook, with users having the option of having a different profile look from the unified layout that has existed before.
The patent application says users may receive a dialogue box prompting the user after receiving a large number of comments or “likes” on a particular status message: “Would you like to personalize your profile with this status message for 10 credits a month?”
Users may also opt to pay to select their closest friends for display.