Facebook is testing ways for YouTubers to make money through Facebook groups, such as users who pay fees for exclusive access to content or conversations within subgroups, the company said on Thursday.
Facebook, which recently changed its name to Meta, said the test was part of its wider paid subscription effort. The social media company is one of many technology giants who have worked to attract social media creators and their huge followers through payments and new tools.
Facebook, which has focused on community building for the past few years to drive engagement on the site, said group admins can run ecommerce stores to sell goods or create community fundraisers, whatever the Could offset costs of running a group.
On Wednesday, CEO Mark Zuckerberg also said developers can share custom links that allow them to accept payments directly by swiping on Apple’s subscription fees. Facebook launched its subscription service last year.
The company announced a series of updates to its Groups product during its live streaming community summit. The subgroup feature, which can be free or paid, would allow members to break off within groups to focus on specific regions or topics.
Facebook groups have been scrutinized by lawmakers and researchers who argue that they provide closed spaces for health misinformation, violent rhetoric, and extremism to spread without being properly monitored.
A company spokesman said Facebook is testing community fundraisers with select groups and that groups created in the last 30 days violate its content rules or frequently share harmful content or misinformation are not allowed.
Facebook said group admins would be given tools to customize the look and feel of their group, and members would soon be able to give community awards for valuable contributions.
The company also unveiled a new experience that “combines the best of Groups and Pages in one place,” and said it would allow Pages administrators to use the same moderation tools as Groups. It was said to be in early testing over the next year.
© Thomson Reuters 2021