Internet | August 27, 2019 2:51 pm

Facebook Quietly Changed Its Slogan and No One Knows Why

It's still free ... for now

new facebook slogan
Facebook: It's not free and never has been
Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Facebook has had a tumultuous few years, but even throughout all the betrayal and uncertainty of the past decade, the platform has always greeted its users with one simple promise: “It’s free and always will be.”

Until now, that is. Earlier this month, a few eagle-eyed users noticed that Facebook quietly ditched the long-time slogan on its homepage in favor of the new, less committal phrase, “It’s quick and easy.” Business Insider has since traced the switch back to sometime between August 6 and 7, but Facebook has yet to comment or offer any explanation for the change.

This quiet shift marks a pretty big change for the brand, which has always been vocal about its free-to-use, advertising-funded business model.

However, while it may seem like Facebook is going back on its word by ditching the “always free” slogan, some argue it never held any weight to begin with.

“Facebook is not free nor has it ever been,” lawyer and digital law expert José Antonio Castillo told Business Insider. “Facebook’s currency was and still is its users’ personal data. It’s never been free, though, because data is worth a lot of money.” Castillo told the outlet he suspects that Facebook may have finally been forced to ditch the slogan in response to a directive the European Parliament passed in May that recognizes exchanging data as a form of payment.

Even if you reject Castillo’s hot take that Facebook was never free to begin with, it turns out the social media platform never really meant the “always will be” part, regardless. As Business Insider pointed out, Section 7 Clause 11 of Facebook’s Platform Policy explicitly states: “We don’t guarantee that Platform will always be free.”

So there you go, more proof that Facebook’s been lying to us for years. In these uncertain times, all we know for sure is that, as of right now, Facebook is still free (depending on how you value your personal data), there is no guarantee it will continue to be, and there actually never has been. Ready to delete your account yet?

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