Facebook has announced that it has begun a new test that would allow Facebook Groups create a paid subscription option for their members. A monthly subscription to groups will cost between $4.99 to $29.99.

“Today, we’re piloting subscriptions with a small number of groups to continue to support group admins who lead these communities,” Facebook Groups product director Alex Deve said. “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.”

With Facebook’s new pilot program, Group admins will no longer need to create a separate subscribers-only group to collect payments. Facebook’s paid subscription Group admins will be in charge of how much they will charge their community for premium content, as long as it is in the $4.99 to $29.99 range. Admins who set up a paid subscription tier for their groups will also have access to built-in tools to track and collect payments. Facebook won’t be taking a cut from any of the subscriptions during the test.

Facebook Groups Facebook Groups admins can now charge its members for a monthly subscription to deliver exclusive content. Photo: Facebook

Those who pay for a monthly subscription will have access to exclusive content from the Facebook Group that they are a part of. Only a handful of Groups are currently offering paid subscriptions for exclusive content. Declutter My Home Group charges $14.99 and offers exclusive videos, trainings, projects, support and more, while Cooking On A Budget has weekly meal plans, tips and shopping lists for those who pay for the $9.99 subscription, according to Android Police.

For those who are worried that free groups are going away, that won’t be the case. Facebook said that free groups are here to stay and that admins will have the option to create a paid subscription sub-group within the existing group. This just means that members of a Facebook Group won’t have to pay a monthly subscription to continue being part of that community.

“It’s not so much about making money as it is investing in their community,” Deve told TechCrunch. “The fact that there will be funds coming out of the activity helps them create higher-quality content.”

Offering paid subscriptions on Facebook isn’t entirely new. In March, Facebook began a test where users were able to support video creators through a monthly subscription fee. Those who paid for a monthly subscription had access to exclusive video content. Facebook also announced on Tuesday that it’s expanding that feature to more video creators on the platform.

Facebook Facebook is testing paid subscription Groups. Photo: REUTERS/Eric Gaillard