In a recent move Facebook, world's largest social media, has started to test with subscription-based access system on Facebook Groups. An admin can now charge from $4.99 to $29.99 per month to provide exclusive access to sub-groups. But currently, it's not going to be open for all the groups. Facebook started slow just with a few categories- parenting, cooking and 'organise my home' groups.
Members and admin to groups like these will be getting access to these first of a kind feature. Interestingly, Facebook won't be taking a cut from the deal. The billing feature of the app is through iOS or Android. They take 30 percent of the bill from the first year's subscription and 15 percent of subscription that comes on later.
The core concept of this monetization scheme actually arrived from the admins. They wanted to funnel the subscriptions that they were managing through other platforms and they wanted to bring it to the primary platform which is the Facebook Group.
So what would be the contents be like in the premium version of Facebook Groups? You will be getting video tutorials, list of tips and support directly from the admins. But the entire subscription scheme depends on whether the contents posted by the admins are exclusive enough for the subscribers to actually pay for it. Here's exactly how one can avail this option: firstly, the user will be part of a larger group where the admin has access to the subscription options. They can post invitations for members. Once they get the invitation, they can see some cards outlining the exclusive content they'll get access to and what it could cost. If they choose to join they will be charged the monthly fee right away.
The subscribers will be billed on that date each month, and if they cancel, they'll still have access until the end of their billing cycle. That prevents anyone from joining a group and scraping all the content without paying the full price.
However, this is not Facebook's first attempt to monetise from Groups. Facebook overhauled the entire Group structure in 2010 resulting higher interaction between the affiliates within the group. And couple years back, seeing such high level of interaction within groups, Facebook started with targeted ads from groups. The testing phase apparently yielded much traction resulting Facebook to shut the project down for the time being.
Does that mean Facebook will keep on continuing without a taking a cut? For the time being it might seem so. But the current population of Facebook is nearly a billion and it does present as a lucrative option to monetise as Facebook's stock price took a dip and the social network is looking into every possible options to pick up the prices.
So for now, we will have to wait to find out.