Facebook tests paid subgroups with subscriptions and exclusive content

During its Communities Summit 2021 live-streamed event, Facebook revealed plans to roll out subgroups to its larger Groups platform. With this feature, Groups members will be able to break out into smaller, more niche groups that narrow the scope of what members talk about. This can, for example, be used to talk about a specific novel within a larger Group about books.

Among other things, the new subgroups feature for Facebook Groups will support paid subscriptions, though they can also be left as free groups for those who aren't interested in monetizing their Facebook Groups. Subgroups join a larger test of potential monetization tools for the Facebook platform.

Meta is also testing other possible revenue-generating tools for Facebook Groups, according to Reuters, including the ability to access exclusive content locked behind a paywall. The test comes amid a wider push across the social media industry to implement various subscription-based models, including the paid newsletter feature available to Twitter users.

The payment model will involve direct payments through "custom links" posted by group creators, according to Meta, which is similar to Twitter's relatively new Tip Jar feature. Group creators will also be able to host fundraisers and sell merchandise.

Meta likewise plans to roll out Facebook Group customization options to creators, meaning admins will be able to adjust the look of a Group to better suit its particular audience. Beyond that, Facebook Groups will also soon offer the ability to give awards to posts, mirroring a similar feature offered on Reddit.