When a Twitter user finds something she likes on the web, her way of showing support is more often than not a quick retweet, maybe a small comment, and then moving on to the next great thing. But what if you could add a micropayment in there, to show the blog’s creator you really like his stuff? Would you do it? Flattr, the popular micropayments service started by the founder of Pirate Bay, is hoping you would, and is hoping that it all happens on Twitter.
Flattr has been around for a while, offering people the ability to go one step further than a retweet or a “Like” and donate small amounts to the creators of content on the web. Its users can donate any amount they want – $0.50, $3.00 – for a blog post, a picture, or any content they liked. And while Flattr has grown in popularity over the past year or so, the company has found that people are hesitant – not to micro-donate, but to accept the donations.
They’ve decided to move beyond offering Flattr dollars to just those creators who put up a Flattr button on their blog, and offer it to everyone… via Twitter.
It works like this:
If you find great, compelling content that you love online, you can still retweet it, like it, share it around. But now you can also Flattr it easily. As a Flattr-er, you simply enter the creator’s Twitter handle into your Flattr dashboard, and it will store you pending micropayment to that individual until they get their own Flattr account. You can tweet to that person to let them know that you Flattred them, and when they join up the pending payment will go through.
This really expands Flattr’s reach. You no longer have to hope they have a Flattr button attached to their blog – you can donate a few cents or dollars to anyone with a Twitter account.
The logistics sound good. As a person giving out Flattrs, you use your Flattr account to donate to someone’s Twitter account. Then they sign up and receive that Flattr, and any future ones as well.
The big question here is – would you do it? A lot of people say they’d pay small amounts for quality content (as opposed to paying a lump sum to access a site for a month or a year, for instance), and being able to donate rather than being required to pay is much more attractive to online citizens who grew up with free content. However, for this to work, a significant number of Twitter users will have to not only retweet the things they like, but also be willing to pay, albeit a small amount. I wonder… will they?
Via the Flattr Blog