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Facebook Groups Could Soon Start Charging Users For Exclusive Membership Access

Facebook has announced that it’s getting ready to monetize groups. Soon, paid memberships will be available as an option, letting users access exclusive content for a fee. 
( Oliver Graumnitz | Pixabay )

Facebook might soon roll out paid group memberships. The company could let administrators start charging members as little as $4.99 to as much as $29.99 for access to exclusive content in groups, according to a blog post.

The new feature is still being tested; parenting, cooking, and home cleaning groups are the first batch of groups to get access, but it’s likely that more groups will be added moving forward.

Facebook Unveils Paid Group Subscriptions

Free groups will remain, to be clear. Only this time they’ll include new options for premium subgroups. For instance, Declutter My Home, by lifestyle blogger Sarah Mueller, will have a subgroup called Organize My Home, which members can join for $4.99. Another example is Grown and Flown Parents, which is starting a $14.99-a-month subgroup called College Admissions and Affordability, centered around helping prospective college graduates get connected with counselors from different schools.

This marks the first time for Facebook groups to implement some form of monetization, which seems like a pretty smart move. Not only can charging membership fees lead to a heightened sense of exclusivity among members, but it also create another channel the company can profit from. It’s likely not going to yield as much cash as Facebook’s advertising business, but it’s still a fine opportunity to generate more income.

A Way For Administrators To Make Money

Plus, as Facebook says, it’s a great way for administrators — especially those who put in the time and effort in growing their communities — to earn money for all their hard work. They can also take their income to produce more high-quality content for the group, be it posts, actual meet-ups, and events.

“Subscription groups align with the experience that we made available to support video creators earlier this year, and is part of our overall approach to helping creators and leaders to financially support the work they do to engage their fans and communities,” said Groups product director Alex Deve.

That being said, there are downsides to Facebook’s paid memberships. In free groups with premium options, for starters, a divide between paying and non-paying members can surface, creating some sort of unspoken rivalry between the two. A paywall can also just drive people away instead of luring them in, as The Verge notes.

What do you think of paid Facebook groups? Do you see yourself ever paying just to get exclusive content and services within a Facebook group? As always, if you have anything to share, feel free to sound off in the comments section below!

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