Facebook is testing a way to let group admins charge the members a monthly fee for exclusive content. The monthly subscription charge starts from $4.99, and may go as high as $29.99 per month. The pilot program will involve a hand-picked array of parenting, cooking, and home cleaning groups.
Facebook announced that it's testing a service that would let the administrators of Facebook groups charge a monthly fee for exclusive content. The free groups will remain intact, but the admins will soon have the option to create premium sub-groups, where they'll provide subscribed members with exclusive content. For instance, lifestyle blogger Sarah Mueller’s "Declutter My Home" group is starting an "Organize My Home" sub-group, that will teach members how to stay tidy with checklists and video guides at $14.99 per month.
Facebook groups are basically virtual clubs where thousands of like-minded users gather together to talk about their interests. And these virtual clubs need maintenance too. Group admins invest their time and energy to maintain their groups, to build a safe and supportive community, and Facebook wants to reward them.
Facebook says group admins have been asking the company for ways to help them earn money to deepen engagement with their members and continue to support their communities. Many admins do this today by creating an additional subscribers-only group that sits alongside their existing group, and rely on additional tools to track and collect payments. Facebook is now trying to simplify this with built-in tools.
To begin with, admins of large groups will soon get an option to create a subscribers-only sub-group, which will be visible to rest of the members. The members will also see preview cards outlining what exclusive content they’ll get access to and how much it costs. Now if they want to join, they can do so right away by paying the membership fee. The'll be billed on that date each month. Users can also cancel their subscription anytime, though they’ll still have access until the end of their billing cycle.
Facebook says it won’t be getting a cut of the subscription fees, at least not at the very beginning. However, the standard App Store and Play Store policies will still apply and Apple and Google will be taking a percentage of the fees via iOS and Android.