Facebook appears to be mulling the addition of “powers” towards owners, administrators, and moderators of is free groups service. Owners of Facebook groups may soon be capable of getting monthly subscription fees to access “premium sub-groups,” which implies a secret “circle” of special members that may get special discounts, promos, and content that members of the free group don’t possess.
This new feature, one that allows group owners and administrators to charge monthly fees for premium access, is apparently rolled out for testing. However, only cooking and parenting groups appear to have first dibs to see if this system may or may not actually work in the long run.
Interestingly, it appears group administrators can charge for exclusive monthly access for as low as $4.99 a month to as high as $29.99 monthly fees. Home cleaning, cooking, and parenting groups will be the ones to first get these sets of features for a test run.
Those concerned about groups in general however will be glad that other “free” groups will for now be unaffected by the change. However, all groups will soon have the opportunity to launch their own “premium” sub-groups, which will be the engine of the monthly subscription fees.
For instance, Sarah Mueller, a lifestyle blogger, has a Declutter My Home group in Facebook. She’s now launching an Organize My Home sub-group that will cost $14.99 a month to be a part of. Meanwhile, another group called Grown and Flown will be making a College Admissions sub-group that will cost $29.99 monthly for premium access to college counselors.
It’s interesting to take note that Facebook groups have always been known to be free to access and free of charge. However, charging for special membership may give users a sense of “exclusivity” and may entice people to participate in groups. Unfortunately, having a paywall installed may just as well drive people away from joining the group entirely. It appears this is a risk Facebook is willing to take, however. How much Facebook will be getting as commission for this feature has yet to be determined.
Regardless, Facebook said this new feature will hopefully reward administrators, who themselves put a lot of dedication and time to grow their communities, by letting them earn money through their hard work. Facebook added group administrators can take what they earn and even propel themselves to create better-quality content for their group as they wish – including events, offline meetups, videos, and more posts.
For now, this new feature is still being tested and experimented upon even on mobile platforms, and Facebook appears to not get any cut of the subscription fee – yet. However, as per standard Play Store and App Store policies, Google and Apple will be receiving a percentage of subscription fees via Android and iOS. Regardless, this appears to be the beginning of Facebook’s push towards monetizing groups. Perhaps the good news one could get out of this is that this time, unlike the News Feed, Facebook at least didn’t rely on advertising.
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