Amid increasing popularity of two groups that oppose the reports of Facebook’s plan to start charging for its services soon, the social networking site has categorically dismissed the reports as rumours.

“We have no plans to charge users for Facebook’s basic services. Facebook is a free service for its 350 million users,” said a spokesperson for the company.

The rumour about Facebook planning to charge for its content appears to have come from a hoax e-mail circulated on the site, The Telegraph reported.

However, two groups on the network which oppose the said move by the site are gaining popularity. The groups, with a combined membership of nearly 2,00,000, believe that the site will soon start charging around 15 pounds for use of the social network.

The more popular of the two groups, titled: “We will not pay to use Facebook — we are gone if this happens”, has over 1,40,000 members and aims to get 3,00,000 members to sign its petition. “This is a petition to stop Facebook from charging 14.99 pounds a month starting from July 2010. Let’s all stick together on this one and let them – site’s owner – know that we will leave Facebook if they decide to charge us to use it,” reads the group’s manifesto.

A few smaller groups dedicated to spreading the message that Facebook does not plan to charge for using its network have also sprung up.