I like the wine analogy. A couple of weeks ago I was at a bar that serves only Tequila – 250 different types. The bartender was very knowledgeable about the different types (but she didn’t have an official title like a “tequila sommelier”) and told me that the most expensive brand sold for $ a shot. This led to a discussion about how much difference in taste there was between a $ shot and a $ shot. Despite her assurance that there was a difference she couldn’t say that it was a $ difference. It seems to me that people who pay this amount don’t do so because of the astonishing difference in taste but to be able to show people that they can spend $ on a shot. Maybe violinists buy old violins for the prestige attached to them rather than the sound.
Unfortunately, Facebook’s business model is directly tied to attention. The more time spent, well or not, the more ad views it racks up and the more money it makes. While this model lets Facebook offer itself to users for free, including those who could never afford a subscription fee, it strongly disincentivizes any large scale changes that would dramatically reduce average usage time, even if it boosted satisfaction. “We have to decouple attention from profit” Harris protests, but that’s a much bigger task than adding a few benevolent pixels.