Facebook Groups can now charge for access: Here’s why that matters
Last month, Facebook announced that it is trialling a subscription model in Groups, allowing group administrators to charge monthly fees for access.
Facebook says the move is to give group admins the financial support needed to give back to their communities. The scheme is in its pilot stage, testing with a small number of groups including college preparation group Grown and Flown Parents: College Admissions and Affordability, a, Declutter My Home, a group dedicated to helping people declutter their houses and Meal Planning Central Premium, a meal preparation group.
While free groups will remain free for users, soon admins may have the option to create premium subgroups and charge for access to them. Admins can charge between $4.99 and $29.99 each month for access to their group to help reimburse organisers for the time and energy that goes into managing it.
Facebook is not currently receiving a cut for subscription costs, however devices on which the model is available, Android and iOS, are charging a 30 percent cut for the first year of subscriptions and 15 percent from the second year onwards.
This isn’t the first we’ve heard of this type of model. Parenting group in Australia, The Mums The Word, began charging a $10 fee for access, on their own terms, at the beginning of this year. The group admin said that running the group had become a “24/7” job and the subscription fee was remuneration for the time and energy put into posting, responding to messages and general maintenance of the group. Facebook’s new subscription model may be a response to group admins, like that of The Mums The Word, wanting earnings for the work they put in.
Can brands benefit from Subscription Groups?
This structure may provide a new way for individuals to interact with Groups and a new way for brands to utilise Groups, which now has over 1 billion users.
Subscription Groups are yet to be rolled out across all Facebook users, so the extent of its capabilities is still unclear. However, Subscription Groups could offer brands an opportunity to create a new revenue stream. Brands might be able to offer their audience a paid subscription for things like:
- Exclusive content – Delivering content that doesn’t appear on any of your other channels to incentivise people to join the group.
- Round-the-clock technical support – At a premium cost, brands could offer 24/7 software support within the group.
- 24/7 customer service – Brands could offer customer support any time of the day at a premium cost.
- Professional advice – A Subscription group could be a forum for seeking and sharing professional advice at a monthly cost.
Facebook has stated that as they learn from the pilot, the company will “continue to improve this experience to help admins”.
If you would like to use Groups for your brand, get in touch with Green Door Co today.