For now your Facebook subscription should remain free, but news that competitor social networking site Ning is now going to charge its customers a monthly fee has the Web world buzzing about other once-free social network sites following suit.
The Web has proved difficult when it comes to earning revenue from users who expect and demand free services. The cry (The Web should be free man!) often conflicts with company bottom lines. So if Ning wants to charge its 300,000 customers to use its network to create Web pages, blogs, chat and upload video and photos, so be it. And if some or all of those customers think it's worth it, that works out just fine for everyone involved.
Twitter or other favorite site?
For me, the real lesson is that if you're used to uploading content and you don't bother keeping it safe anywhere else, you may have a problem should your social network site suddenly decide to start charging for its networking services and data storage offerings. You will likely have some time to get your content, but you may find that a lot of it is not retrievable since it was created and maintained by the Web site you used.
Bottom line: Keep your friends close, and your most important data (photos, videos, writings, etc.) closer. Keep a back-up on your computer or extra hard drive so you won't have to wonder what you can access and keep should your social networking site go from "freemium" to "premium" overnight.