If it’s free, you’re probably the product

Many of you (including myself) have probably this sentence more than once.
This however raises a question… most of us are using free services like:

  • Whatsapp
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Telegram

How much would you be willing to pay per service to replace them?
Ideas like Gab.com are making paid and free versions, I’m just wondering how much are we willing to pay on a yearly/montly bases for a platform like whatsapp or facebook?


I don’t really know how to set a price for it but I am definitely willing to pay for these types of services if they’re offering me data privacy. I see Gab is $100 per year which seems reasonable. But that’s comparing to the way things work these days – e.g. we pay about the same price for music & video streaming services. Granted, it adds up if you pile on service after service.


Not sure about an amount but would definitely be willing to pay for sovereignty and keeping my data (photos/vids, files, contacts, chats) secure.
A price for use would for sure need to take into consideration different demographics so that it does not exclude certain sectors of society/global population. Make it equitable and with a little bit of awareness/education on the topic I think it would work.


Super important point.

Data privacy and governance are the subjects that brought me here in the first place. The first service I’ll install when my farm will be ready is a Nextcloud server and mail server to free me from Google’s business model. That’s not including Social media and Instant messaging though, albeit Nextcloud talk could replace IM on small scale.

I read somewhere that a common user makes GAFAM gain around 150€ of revenue each year. On this basis i’d say a fair price for all digitial life services for a user should be around 50 € / year


You bring me to another point. If you had total ownership of your data, would you sell it for the right price?

1 Like

For me, it would depend on a number of things outside of price, including:

  • who’s getting it
  • what they’re doing with it / how they’re using it (e.g. for advertising? research?)
  • how honest they are about these things / how I can verify that what they say is true

Also being able to provide and revoke data while maintaining ownership is important. I’ll rent it away under the right circumstances but it is and should always remain mine.

1 Like

Gosam said everything I think :slight_smile:

I’m pretty sure the next company which will package Nextcloud services, deliver them for free and pay a small fee to the user for using them by collecting their data will be a hit and will participate at awareness elevation about the GAFAM business model.

I see that as a middle step between the actual business model and a final one where people will get the importance of their personal data and choose not to share it, or at least sell it for the right price


Although it’s still early days we see the first organizations and people standing to protect and monetize data for individual consumers. We are aligned with a not for profit organization (Solidaridad) that is launching a “Fair Data” program for farmers (real farmers) worldwide.

The food production industry leaves the largest percentage of margin with retailers at the end of the food chain (similar large monopolies as in the internet space, only 7 conglomerates dominates the food industry) and the farmer is left with a single digit percentage on the total margin made on his produce. Solidaridad is building with ThreeFold Tech a fair data platform where data is collected by farmers (smartphone) and stored in such a way in their digital avatar that they retain ownership of that data.

The marketplace offers this raw data to large food enterprises who can pull reports from that data on sustainability, farmer well fare and all sorts of other things which they can use to enhance their story around sustainable food supply chains. The money that they pay for these reports finds their way back to the individual farmer providing the raw data. A (very welcome) second income stream for the farmers!

All of this will run on the TF Grid, using 3bot’s to represent farmers and food enterprises. Exciting!


I am not sure above the amount neither but I would be easily willing to pay 5-35EUR per month depending on the service/size to keep my data secure. I am indeed paying on average 20 EUR for music & video streaming services/month, so a no-brainer for me in regards of sovereignty and data privacy. :slight_smile:

For sure I upvote the comment from @LivLife1111 that different demographics have to be taken into consideration for pricing.

In regards of the second question in the tread WHEN I have total ownership of my data, if I would sell it for the right price… I can resonate with the answer from @gosam “I’ll rent it away under the right circumstances but it is and should always remain mine.”

Thank you for the food for thoughts and even more importantly already working on the solution! #excitingtimesahead #datasovereignty #threefold

1 Like