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Mark Zuckerberg says a 'version' of Facebook will always be free — which leaves the door open for a paid version without ads.

  • Mark Zuckerberg said in a hearing on Tuesday that there will always be a free version of Facebook.
  • That's a change from the company's previous promise that Facebook will always be free, and it suggests that Facebook is not ruling out offering a free and a paid version of the social network.

Mark Zuckerberg just suggested that Facebook might one day offer a paid, premium version of the service.

During his testimony on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, Zuckerberg was asked by a Republican Senator Orin Hatch if Facebook will always be free.

Zuckerberg response: "Yes, there will always be a version of Facebook that is free."

The reason that's important is that Zuckerberg said a version of Facebook will always be free. That's a marked difference from Facebook's longstanding insistence that Facebook will always be free, period.

If you read between the lines, that suggests Facebook could also offer a paid version, perhaps without ads, at some point down the road. That could help Facebook ease some of the concerns about its use of its users' data for ad targeting.