‘There will always be a variation of Facebook of which is usually free’

There will always be a variation of Facebook of which users can access without paying, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in congressional testimony on Tuesday. however his phrasing suggests the company has at least considered a paid variation.

“Yes, there will always be a variation of Facebook of which is usually free,” Zuckerberg said during a joint hearing of the U.S. Senate Judiciary in addition to also also Commerce committees.

Zuckerberg testified in Congress on Tuesday within the first of two hearings over Facebook’s data privacy issues. The company is usually facing questions following reports data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica improperly gained access to the personal data of as many as 87 million Facebook users through a quiz app.

In an interview with “Today,” Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said allowing Facebook users to opt out of sharing their information with advertisers would likely require a paid design— however didn’t say of which any such change was forthcoming. Zuckerberg did not deny the company was looking at a paid options, however emphasized the company always wants to offer a service accessible to everyone.

“I think what Sheryl was saying is usually in order to not run ads at all we would likely need some sort of business design,” he said. “To be clear, we don’t offer an option today for people to pay to not show ads. We think offering people an ad-supported service is usually the most aligned with our mission of trying to connect everyone within the earth, because we want to offer a free service of which everyone can afford. of which’s the only way we can reach billions of people.”

When asked how Facebook funds its free platform, Zuckerberg said the company relies on advertising.

“Senator, we run ads,” he said.

Shares were up 5 percent during Zuckerberg’s testimony.

Note: NBC’s “Today” in addition to also also CNBC share parent company NBCUniversal.

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