Facebook Tests Charging Subscriptions for Access to Groups
Several times over the years, hoaxes have popped up claiming that Facebook would be charging for access. Now, that's sort of actually happening with Facebook groups.
The social network on Wednesday said it's piloting a feature that will let group administrators charge membership fees for access to exclusive content. At this point, Facebook is testing this feature with "a small number of groups."
"We hear from group admins that they're looking for ways to help them earn money to deepen engagement with their members and continue to support their communities," Facebook groups Product Director Alex Deve wrote in a blog post. He pointed out that group admins can already create subscribers-only groups and use third-party tools to collect payments.
Facebook created subscription groups to "make it easier for admins to provide these experiences with built-in tools, and to save them time so they can focus on offering members-only content," Deve wrote.
One newly-launched subscription group called Organize My Home, for instance, is charging $14.99 per month for access to "mini-projects, group challenges, trainings and live Q&A" to help with home organization, according to admin Sarah Mueller. Others include Grown and Flown Parents: College Admissions and Affordability, which offers access to college counselors to help the parents of high schoolers navigate the college application process, and Meal Planning Central Premium, which offers weekly meal plans and shopping lists organized by grocery store.
"As we learn from this pilot and understand how group members feel about subscription groups, we'll continue to improve this experience to help admins offer more to their members and continue to invest in their communities," Deve wrote.
Facebook users can sign up and manage their subscriptions to members-only groups through the Facebook app for iOS or Android.
Facebook is letting group admins charge between $4.99 and $29.99 per month, according to TechCrunch. The report notes that Facebook won't be taking a portion of the revenue during this trial, but may eventually start asking for a cut.