We covered Flattr in our review last May. In short, the service is way for content producers to get paid through micro-donations by individuals like you and me. Or more accurately, it was that service since last Sunday. Yesterday, Flattr began making some important changes to its service that will put it on a different path of development.
With the new development path, Flattr does not require its users to put money on a monthly basis into their account. According to the team, some people have been put off Flattr for this reason. Also, if you didn’t deposit the required amount of money each month, your Flattr donate -button would go inactive.
In a recent blog post, the Flattr team has announced that they are dropping this requirement. This has two significant results. Firstly, it will keep all the embedded Flattr buttons active on people’s sites. Secondly, it will drop one of the largest barriers of entry to Flattr’s service. These will surely increase usage amongst Flattr community.
Like Steve Jobs, there’s one more thing that’s worth mentioning. Like paying with services such as PayPal, you need some sort of ID to target the payment towards. Flattr has realised this and taken an interesting to the problem. Where as an e-mail is usually somewhat difficult to find (and many of us have multiple addresses), a Twitter handle is more promoted and we mostly have one main one we use.
So the Flattr is experimenting with being able to route payments with Twitter handles. While it’s an experiment and far from being a core part of the service in the future - it’s a great niche many companies have missed.
Furthermore, with these moves - Flattr is becoming a serious competitor to the more traditional payment providers in the space of indie content purchases. Will be interesting to follow where the company goes with these changes.
Flattr is a Sweden based company and it’s co-founded by Peter Sunde, one of the co-founders behind The Pirate Bay.