Facebook is testing paid subscriptions for some group pages, where video or other content could be accessed for a monthly fee. Facebook is running the pilot with a small number group admins, who are leading some of these pages and groups on the social network. The move comes even as Facebook-owned Instagram launched its IGTV, which is a long-form video hub where content creators can post longer videos. IGTV is being seen as a challenger to YouTube.
Facebook’s Alex Deve, who is Product Director for Groups, wrote in a blog post that the company is piloting “subscriptions with a small number of groups to continue to support group admins who lead these communities.” Facebook says the idea is to help these group admins earn money.
The post reads, “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.”
With the new subscriptions features, members will be able to sign-up and manage their subscription through the Facebook app for iOS and Android. The prices for these subscriptions will range from $4.99 to $29.99, according to a report on CNET. Users will have the option of cancelling these subscriptions at any given point. Facebook says the subscription feature is in line with the company’s efforts to support video creators and help them generate revenue.
Based on the response from this pilot, and how group members respond to these paid subscriptions, Facebook will try and improve on this and expand the feature. Facebook’s blog post gives the example of a group called Declutter My Home run by an admin named Sarah Mueller, which will be part of the pilot. The Group shows ways for others to tidy up their apartment or house.
Mueller will now offer a new subscription group called Organize My Home, where members will be able to work together on bite-sized projects, and have access to easily actionable checklists, tutorials, live videos, etc for a monthly charge. Other groups with which Facebook is testing this feature are “Grown and Flown Parents: College Admissions and Affordability,” and “Meal Planning Central Premium.”
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