Mark Zuckerberg is testifying today before the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, answering questions from 44 Senators about Facebook's data managing practices, the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the use of its platform by foreign groups attempting to influence US elections. During his questioning today, Senator Orrin Hatch harkened back to Zuckerberg's first visit to Capitol Hill in 2010 where he said that Facebook would always be free. Zuckerberg then responded that a version of Facebook would always be free, leaving open the interpretation that the platform could one day charge a fee.
Last week, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg told CNBC that while the company currently allows users to opt out of certain features, "We don't have an opt-out at the highest level. That would be a paid product." Hatch asked about those comments and Zuckerberg reiterated that ads are a major part of how Facebook sustains its business. It's interesting to now hear Zuckerberg say that a version of Facebook will always remain free.
Zuckerberg's testimony is ongoing, you can follow along here.