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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 12 December 2018

Mark Zuckerberg says free version of Facebook will always be there 

Hinted at the possibility that there may someday be a version of the social-media app that would be supported by user fees

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg listens while testifying before a joint Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees hearing regarding the company’s use and protection of user data. Leah Millis / Reuters.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg listens while testifying before a joint Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees hearing regarding the company’s use and protection of user data. Leah Millis / Reuters.

Facebook chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg, testifying before a joint hearing of two Senate committees in Washington, hinted at the possibility that there may someday be a version of the social-media app that would be supported by user fees, rather than advertising revenue.

Pressed on whether Facebook will always be free for users and supported by ads, Zuckerberg appeared to leave the way open for a paid version.

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“There will always be a version of Facebook that is free,” he said.

He said Facebook users own the data that they put on the site, but that the company will retain an advertising-based business model for free users.

Mr Zuckerberg apologised, defended his company, and jousted with questioners while agreeing on several issues with others during his first-ever congressional testimony.