[MCGuffin] Have you ever considered the value you place on your favorite free apps?

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On this subject, here is the an article about the value of Social Media to consumers: Many services remain free thanks to advertising. But what if things changed? Suppose Google and consumers had to agree on a price for Google Maps? Would its value to you translate into a monthly dollar amount — or none at all?

We’re attached to so many free services, yet we know rumbling beneath the surface of each service is an ambitious business navigating a complex and changing market.

In a recent study, we set out to measure the value regular users placed on 16 of the most widely-used apps, asking respondents what they’d pay if a subscription fee was required. They had the option to say they would pay nothing and discontinue use, without access to a free alternative.

What did we hope to learn? Our goal wasn’t to offer bankable projections for Silicon Valley but, instead, to provide some indicators to inform an ongoing discussion of how value is created and perceived in the digital age.

Statistics about the cost of free apps

Doesn’t seem like much, right? Not one of these hypothetical fees would amount to more than $50 per year. (But, as you’ll see in a moment, that doesn’t mean companies couldn’t make extraordinary sums of money at these price points, given the number of users they’ve accumulated.)

Among the facts we learned along the way: women would pay 20% more than men for Google Maps, Facebook and Pinterest, and millennials would pay 78% more for Instagram and 42% more for Google Maps than baby boomers. The five apps users are least willing to pay money for? Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Venmo, Instagram and Twitter.

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