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Facebook Groups May Soon Charge Monthly Subscription Fees For Access

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Soon, to access certain videos or content on Facebook then be ready to throw in a little cold, hard cash into the mix as well.

The social network has announced in a press release a pilot program for Facebook Groups that lets administrators create a paid group for their communities. Members can pay a monthly subscription to certain groups for access to exclusive content, including videos, tutorials and advice. The fees will range from $4.99 to $29.99 per month. So yes you may end up needing to pay almost $360 for an annual Facebook group subscription.

However, in the biggest social media platform has always made their groups free. But now as a way to reward group admins who has put in much effort in making the group functional and active.  The company also says admins could take the money they earn to create higher-quality content for the group as well, whether that be more posts, videos, or offline meetups and events.

Alex Deve, product management director for Groups, said in an interview. One group, called “Declutter My Home,” is creating a new paid subgroup called “Organize My Home,” which charges a $14.99 subscription fee to join.

Another group, called “Grown and Flown Parents,” created a paid subgroup called “College Admissions and Affordability,” which charges $29.99 a month. It’s a dedicated college prep group with access to college counsellors.

Cooking On A Budget: Recipes & Meal Planning group which will launch a $9.99 Meal Planning Central Premium subscription group with weekly meal plans, shopping lists for different grocery stores and more.

How the Groups subscription work is quite simple and has a logical explanation. Firstly a user must be in a larger group where the admin has access to a subscription options and posts an invitation for members to check it out. However, Users will see an outline of the exclusive content that they’ll have access to and how much it costs. If they want to join, and they’re already an approved member of larger free group, they’re charged the monthly fee right away. And they will be billed on same every month, and if they cancel, they’ll still have access until the end of their billing cycle.These process help prevent anyone from joining a group and scraping all the content without paying for it.

This isn’t the first time Facebook has experimented with subscriptions. In March, the social network began testing the “option to support” video creators with a monthly subscription fee, in exchange for exclusive content or a badge highlighting their status as a supporter.

On Wednesday, Facebook said it was expanding the feature to more creators. During the test, Facebook won’t be taking a cut, but because the feature bills through iOS and Android, those operating systems get their 30 percent cut of a user’s first year of subscription and 15 percent after that. But if Facebook eventually did ask for a revenue share, it could finally start to monetise the Groups feature that’s grown to more than 1 billion users.

Now, to be clear, at present only a select few group admins have the ability to charge fees. And for now most of that money will go to the organisation or person leading the group, but that could change at any point in the future. After all, it’s not like this would be the first time Facebook altered the terms of a product to favour its bottom line.

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