… Zero. Yes, zero, according to a study by the Center for the Digital Future at the University of Southern California Annenberg School For Communication And Journalism. We already know thanks to several other surveys that consumers aren’t exactly rushing to pay for social networking online, but the Annenberg School’s study shows the most extreme reaction so far, especially considering that 49 percent of the internet users among the 1,981 survey respondents said they did use social networking sites like Twitter.
Says Jeffrey Cole, the director of the Center for the Digital Future, “Such an extreme finding that produced a zero response underscores the difficulty of getting Internet users to pay for anything that they already receive for free.” (For the record, Twitter hasn’t said it has any plans to charge and Facebook now says on its home page that it will always be free).
The survey also echoed others that show that consumers — unsurprisingly — would prefer not to pay for content online. 55 percent said they agreed or strongly agreed that they “prefer having free access to online content that has advertising accompanying it rather than having to pay for the content.” Only 16 percent strongly or somewhat disagree, while the remainder say they’re ambivalent.