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article imageFacebook testing monthly charges for certain groups

By Ken Hanly     Jun 21, 2018 in Internet
Menlo Park - Facebook has decided to allow administrators of some groups to begin charging $4.99 to $29.99 a month for exclusive memberships. The company made the announcement in a blog post indicating it was part of an early test.
Only certain groups will participate
Groups in the area of parenting, cooking and home cleaning will be the first to take part in the tests. For now the free groups will remain as they are but they will shortly have the option of launching premium groups with charges attached.
Groups that will participate include an Organize My Home group that will cost $14.99 a month to join and the administrator will be Sarah Mueller, a lifestyle blogger who now has a Declutter My Home group.
The Grown and Flown Parents group will launch a College Admissions group that will charge $29.99 a month and will enable members to access college counselors.
Reasoning behind the change
In the past Facebook groups have always been free but the company feels that a charge for membership would make members feel more special. However, it could end up just driving people away.
Another reason for the change is to allow administrators of groups to make some money for all the time and effort they expend to expand their groups. The money earned could also be used to purchase higher value content for the group, including more posts, videos, and even offline events.
The blog announcement notes: "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. Many admins do this today by creating an additional subscribers-only group that sits alongside their existing group, and rely on additional tools to track and collect payments. Subscription groups were created 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."
For now Facebook will not receive any part of the fees
The project is still at the experimental stage and Facebook will not receive any return from the fees charged. However, as part of the standard App Store and Play Store policies, Apple and Google will take a part of the subscription fees. However, this is just the beginning of Facebook's attempt to monetize groups. Unlike the News Feed, the groups do not rely on advertising to generate revenue.
Facebook
Facebook is an online social media and networking service company with headquarters in Menlo Park California. It operates world-wide except in a few countries where it is banned. The chief executive officer is Mark Zuckerberg.
The company was founded in February of 2004 by Zuckerberg together with a number of fellow Harvard College class mates.
Facebook had its initial public offering (IPO) in February 2012 with the company valued at $104 billion the largest valuation so far for a newly listed company. Most of Facebook's revenue comes from ads on screen.
As of January this year, Facebook had more than 2.2 billion monthly users.
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