How Nostr Could Reshape Paid Groups

Nostr paid groups

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Social media sites are blasted with content every second, and dealing with all that noise requires users to curate their own feeds or allow algorithms to do it for them. In the case of traditional social media, they’ve opted for algorithmic curation because it can be optimised to meet certain business goals like time on site, engagement and, of course, ad serving.

Many social media users, while still appreciating the connectivity options and the ability to engage, have looked for silos within the social media sphere that provide more control over messaging. Instead of competing with the noise of newsfeeds, Groups have become the place where users can curate content and broadcast to audiences who have a specific interest.

Groups are a tool for broadcasting your public messages to large audiences or highly curated audiences. They offer a unique opportunity to reach people directly, sending a notification to their phones with each post.

Several social media sites and instant messaging services offer a group-like service, with each service appealing to a different user base and having its own pros and cons.

  • Facebook groups
  • LinkedIn Groups
  • Twitter communities
  • Discord servers
  • Telegram channels

Why create a group?

Building an online presence has changed with social media; in previous years, it was fairly easy to reach the audience you built through your followers. Each time you posted, a large enough portion of those who followed would see it, making your social media page a worthwhile organic marketing tool.

As the newsfeed competition trended towards ads and rage bait, it became much harder for people and brands who don’t partake in algorithmic-growth hacking to gain the reach they had before, let alone improve their reach.

Groups became a way to create a mini newsfeed of your very own, where participants have complete access to your content, and it became easier to engage with those that are interested in your content, product or service.

In groups, you can:

  • Share valuable content with your community members.
  • Give a venue for the members to engage with you and each other.
  • Only allow qualified people to join.
  • Moderate and control the activities within the group.
  • Provide access to exclusive content and benefits
  • The control of signal-to-noise ratio within group discussions

The use case for social media groups

Groups have exploded over the last five years, with the most popular use cases being:

Mentoring and coaching

People want to feel like they are experts and help others with the information that they have and that others need. By using groups, these field experts provide helpful tips and insight that many within a specific field of business are seeking. Groups allow you direct access to experts and affordable coaching that you could get without needing to be physically close to that expert.

Mentor groups are still a legitimate use case despite all the so-called “gurus” s and experts online using this marketing funnel to generate hordes of followers and sell them complete snake oil info-products.

Business networking

Building a business community with groups as it unites your potential clients, current clients, and fan base under the common thread of your business or common subject matter. Networking opportunities can also occur between group members as the group provides a platform for like-minded users to connect.

Your business/group will act as the common interest and trust factor, which can help solidify relationships for all involved.

Fans and community communication

Since group members can see the names of everyone else that belongs to the group, they can message other group members. This can create a platform for discussion that the group admin only needs to moderate and not stimulate. It creates a more organic feel to the engagement, and it doesn’t feel like you’re being sold to or having information pushed down your throat.

While you are the platform owner, your community members can act as brand ambassadors and even customer service reps due to their interest or passion for a certain topic or subject.

Customer service and feedback

A group allows you to support customers at scale in the things they are working on via your business; this could be information such as issues with the product, service, or announcements. Groups make it easier to communicate with users instead of having to blast out mass emails or text messages to customers.

It can also act as a way for you to promote testimonials or reviews and even a great platform for brand ambassadors. If a customer is pleased with your product/service, they will invite more people to your group. This allows them to help naturally foster the transparency of your company.

Groups also provide you with a set of people willing to provide their opinion on certain changes to the product or service so you can secure a sizable amount of real-time feedback on your business.

Audience cultivation

Groups are generally recommended for small collections of people, but there is no limit to the number of people you could have in a group. A group can be as small as the neighbourhood watch or employees of a certain company to as large as all the fans of Harry Potter books.

Groups are ideal for creating events, sharing documents and keeping people informed on what is happening within the company. The important aspect of groups is you’re able to create hyper-specific audiences. Instead of having to mass broadcast your message, you cultivate an audience that is responsive to your message.

Customer base

A business can’t thrive and grow without an engaged and active community. You need to build a relationship with your customers, and you won’t be able to do that if you’re just aiming for one purchase per client.

Repurchases happen when customers are valued by businesses, and the best way to do that is by creating an exclusive group for them. This is where paid Facebook groups come in handy.

If your target audience finds value in the product or service you offer, they won’t mind paying for a spot in your exclusive group. Influencers, coaches, and trainers create paid communities where loyal followers and clients get exclusive videos, content, and information.

With paid Facebook groups, you’re hitting two birds with one stone. You’re fostering community engagement and monetising it at the same time.

Why do users join groups?

  • Exclusive access: Fans can join their creators in smaller groups for a more intimate social experience.
  • Feedback and community building: Creators can hear from and interact directly with their most passionate fans regularly.
  • Communications and awareness: Subscriber groups are a great place for creators to keep dedicated fans updated on new content, merchandise launches, upcoming events, and more.

The shortcomings of traditional social media groups.

Now that you have a general idea of how groups work, let’s take a look at what keeps them ticking on.

The monetisation of groups.

Having chats online is one thing, but creating and managing a group is time-consuming, and to keep it going, you need to commit resources towards it, or you won’t see it grow, and you will experience a high churn rate as users leave or stop engaging. To ensure your group retains users and remains feasible, there needs to be a monetisation aspect to the service.

In the case of a business, that aspect is already taken care of. Still, if you’re simply running a group as a platform for discussion, you may need to look into other avenues for generating income. This is where I think groups begin to falter.

Subscriptions groups.

The first option is a subscription service that allows users to financially support the creators and pages they enjoy with a monthly recurring payment. In return, fans receive special perks like exclusive content, live videos and more.

The issue with subscriptions is the rigid pricing structure, and you can’t always offer tiers to get support from a wider audience. You need to pick a price range and hope that enough people are willing to contribute to sustaining your efforts.

This may even add to your work as you might need to manage a public and private group which adds to the complexity.

  • How could Nostr fix this?

In the case of Nostr, you could have different tiers for different users, they can select what they wish to pay, and this payment would unlock the content hidden behind paywalls on certain Nostr relays, or the client would simply allow them access to the content they wouldn’t otherwise see.

Not only that, but you could configure exclusive content to display within the group and allow users to pay per view of exclusive content, so you can still generate an income from it from a wider audience and perhaps upsell them to one of your subscription tiers.

Needless consumption for the sake of income.

Another method of securing an income is through needless consumption; many groups today generate income by selling merchandise no one really wants or needs, selling you useless overpriced info products like eBooks and eCourses or shilling affiliate links of services that might not be ideal but provide the best commission rates.

While these options can generate an income, it adds intermediaries that aren’t needed or creates the need to push a product on your user base.

  • How could Nostr fix this?

Since Nostr clients can be configured to use the Lightning Network, it is ideal for micro-payments, allowing you to configure creative ways to encourage users to pay you.

This could be through:

  • Tipping you on your content
  • Charging a fee to post to the group
  • Charging a fee to respond to posts
  • Charging a fee to post certain types of content like ads
  • Charging a fee to post content like images or videos in your group

Another way Nostr groups could provide improved monetisation or engagement between users is with the help of eCash Mints. This could allow group admins to act as mints and provide any user of the group access to their mint.

Nostr public keys can be connected directly to eCash wallets to allow for seamless transfer of funds between users. When group members fund their mint wallet, they can pay for any of the group products (groups could even offer discounts) but also pay any user in the group.

Group consolidation.

Remember I mentioned earlier that some group owners have groups on different platforms either because they want a free or paid service or because they want to leverage certain aspects of Telegram or Discord while using a group on Facebook.

This platform hoping creates duplicate work and audience dislocation, which makes it harder to funnel users into your payment options to upsell or cross-sell users.

  • How could Nostr fix this?

Using Nostr, there could be clients that provide users with a similar look and feel to Telegram or Facebook Groups, and users can engage through the client they prefer. At the same time, the group owner can manage their audiences across platforms easier.

In future, we could see group owners have the ability to broadcast custom messages to different relays and clients in a single interface. In contrast, the group members can view the content in the medium they prefer. Giving everyone the best experience while the group admin doesn’t need to manage various platforms adds to their workload. This could translate to even lower prices for group members since fewer moderators and time is needed to manage the entire ecosystem.

Do your own research.

If you’d like to try out Nostr or want to learn more about it, we recommend checking out the following resources to kickstart your research.

Are you on Nostr?

If you are a Nostr user and want to hang out and chat with us or follow our content on your preferred Nostr front end, feel free to add us using our PubKey below.


The Bitcoin Manual’s Nostr Pubkey

Disclaimer: This article should not be taken as, and is not intended to provide any investment advice. It is for educational and entertainment purposes only. As of the time posting, the writers may or may not have holdings in some of the coins or tokens they cover. Please conduct your own thorough research before investing in any cryptocurrency, as all investments contain risk. All opinions expressed in these articles are my own and are in no way a reflection of the opinions of The Bitcoin Manual

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