Content creators may soon be able to charge subscription fees from their Facebook followers as the social media colossus is testing its Groups feature to take payments for access to exclusive content or conversations.
Facebook is working to lure more content creators to its social channel and these tests are part of its broader paid subscription campaign.
Facebook Chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg revealed that Group administrators will be able to sell merchandise or hold fundraising events through custom tools that accept payments directly. Administrators would be able to use other tools to customize their Group’s appearance, while members would be able to give “community awards” for valuable posts.
The company also hinted that it is also testing similar capabilities for Groups and Pages, which would also allow Pages administrators to have moderation tools.
These Groups updates come after Facebook launched Subgroups subscriptions service last year, where followers could break into smaller groups for more focused discussions. Access to these subgroups could be free or paid, depending on the content creator’s preference.
Government and interest groups have voiced concerns over these closed discussions, branding them as venues to spread misinformation, violence, and extremism due to the lack of regulation. Facebook, however, responded by saying that Groups created in the last 30 days that perpetuated harmful or wrong information were not eligible.