Industries in Depth

This is how much people would pay to use some of the world's most popular apps

A 3D plastic representation of the Facebook logo is seen in front of displayed logos of social networks in this illustration in Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina May 13, 2015. Facebook announced deals with nine publishers -- including NBC News, the New York Times and BuzzFeed -- to deliver select articles "instantly" on mobile apps. A next logical step for the social giant would be to extend the program to Internet-video providers. Under the Instant Articles program, Facebook caches content on its servers so that it loads up to 10 times faster than regular article posts, which take an average of eight seconds to access. The other launch partners in the program are National Geographic, The Atlantic, the U.K.'s Guardian, BBC News, Spiegel and Bild. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic  - GF10000093280

89% of those surveyed would pay to use WhatsApp. Image: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

Joe Myers
Writer, Forum Agenda
Share:
Our Impact
What's the World Economic Forum doing to accelerate action on Industries in Depth?
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how Digital Communications is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:

Digital Communications

How much would you pay for Google Maps?

Or Facebook?

Or Twitter?

So many of the applications we use every day are free, but what if you had to pay a monthly subscription? How high would you go to retain access?

McGuffin, a Chicago-based brand, design and advertising agency, asked 2,000 people in an online survey how much they’d be willing to pay per month for a range of apps.

Although US-focused – the study doesn’t include any Chinese apps such as WeChat with its 1 billion+ daily users – it’s a useful insight into the value we place on services often taken for granted.

Top of the charts? YouTube at more than $4.20 a month.

Image: McGuffin

Interestingly, more people would be willing to pay for WhatsApp – but valued it at nearly $2 less a month than YouTube.

Have you read?

An economist explains

The study is part of a broader trend, as economists try to understand the value of digital goods and the internet.

At the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in January 2019, the Forum spoke to Erik Brynjolfsson, Director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy and Professor at MIT Sloan School, about just this.

You can read an edited transcript here, or check out his interview on LinkedIn here.

Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Share:
World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

1:50

Top 5 countries leading the sustainable tourism sector

Robin Pomeroy and Linda Lacina

April 29, 2024

About Us

Events

Media

Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum