Facebook finally going to charge you for some content

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Facebook subscription fees are coming.
Declutter My Home is one of a handful of Facebook groups that get to test charging subscription fees.
Photo: Facebook

A pilot project allows people who run Facebook groups to charge subscription fees for the content they create. During the testing process, this is an option for a limited number of group admins.

The fees can range from $4.99 to $29.99 a month. Facebook isn’t taking a share of the revenue.

One of the test groups is Grown and Flown Parents. It’s College Admissions and Affordability subgroup costs $29.99 a month. This offers “access to college counselors to help prepare parents of high schoolers for the college application process,” according to Facebook

As part of this pilot project, the social-networking service is providing the group admins with tools to collect payments. Subscribers can manage and pay for their subscriptions within the Facebook app for iOS or Android.

They work hard for the money

It’s not surprising that those who administered a Facebook group could want some financial recompense for their efforts. Of course, erecting a pay wall around some content can turn away users.

Facebook promises “As we learn from this pilot and understand how group members feel about subscription groups, we’ll continue to improve this experience to help admins offer more to their members and continue to invest in their communities,” according to Facebook

Not the Facebook subscription fees some want

Any mention of Facebook subscription fees surely raised hopes that the company will allow users to pay to access all of the social-networking service, without any of their personal information being harvested and sold. That was something several congresspeople asked CEO Mark Zuckerberg for when he testified before Congress this spring.

But there’s no hint of that happening. Zuckerberg dodged those Congressional requests, and there’s no mention in today’s announcement of any other subscription fees besides ones charged by group admins. Facebook’s business model continues to be gathering private data about users and selling it to advertisers.