Your favorite Facebook group could start charging for premium access

Facebook

Facebook is testing a feature that could make Facebook Groups more exclusive.

Facebook Groups have long been a way for people to connect, share information, and organize community events. Some Facebook groups have exploded into huge, million-plus person, sub-group filled behemoths, and they can be difficult to manage and moderate. To help these groups—and potentially eventually offer Facebook a new means of revenue—the social network is piloting paid subscription groups.

Group administrators will be able to charge members anywhere from $4.99 to $29.99 to access exclusive sub-groups that offer premium services or information. It’s an interesting move. Until now, Facebook groups have always been free to use—the only exclusivity factor was whether a group would accept you as a member or not. Now, groups can further separate posts, events, and information not just between members and non-members, but between regular members and paying members.

For your average neighborhood parents group or industry networking outlet, a paid subgroup may not make much sense. However, there are some groups that want to offer premium services and others backed by brands or celebrities that may want to monetize their Facebook following.

Facebook is testing the idea out with a small number of groups first, such as college prep group Grown and Flown Parents: College Admissions and Affordability; home tidying group Declutter My Home; and weekly meal plan group Meal Planning Central Premium.

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Declutter My Home is creating an “Organize My Home” group that costs $14.99 a month. The Grown and Flown Parents group, meanwhile, is offering a $29.99 a month College Admissions group that gives direct access to college counselors. For these premium subscriptions, the group offers a description of what the subscription offers and specific things members will get out of it, along with a button to join the group.

For now, Facebook won’t be taking a cut of subscription fees, but if you subscribe on iOS or Android, their respective app stores will take a cut.

H/T The Verge

Christina Bonnington

Christina Bonnington

Christina Bonnington is a tech reporter who specializes in consumer gadgets, apps, and the trends shaping the technology industry. Her work has also appeared in Gizmodo, Wired, Refinery29, Slate, Bicycling, and Outside Magazine. She is based in the San Francisco Bay Area and has a background in electrical engineering.