We recently covered how Flattr added web-wide functionality, allowing its users to send micropayments by plugging into the big social properties on the web (and not necessarily though the Flattr button). These integrations included Twitter, Instagram, Soundcloud, and Vimeo, among others. Now the company has added Youtube support, which could put a good amount of money into Youtube video creators' flattr accounts whenever people click the "thumbs up" button on connected accounts. Youtube obviously has a huge creator/supporter ecosystem, so plugging in with them offers a huge integration.
But as Youtube has walked into the door, Twitter has closed off, taking claim to the fact that Flattr receives 10% of the donated money moving through their service.
One of the new things you might have seen on ArcticStartup in the last couple of months is the Flattr button. It's just to the right of this text, you should click it. Ok... read the article first. We've covered them plenty of times in the past, but if you haven't seen our past coverage, they're sort of like a Facebook "like" button, but with real money moving on the button click. We like them because they help monetize content on the web - something we've learned is a little difficult to do.
Malmö-based Flattr's model hasn't become the silver bullet for us, but it's been fun to experiment with. Their model - updated today - makes it as easy as possible to facilitate micropayments with the smallest mental friction. The way it works is users pick a monthly payment into their Flattr account, which becomes the total they can spend. Then, as they browse the web, they can click Flattr buttons (and now basically anything) to send money over to the content creators. At the end of the month, their cash reserve is split equally over all the buttons they've hit.
Apple has rejected the latest update of the Instacast podcatching app, taking issue with their Flattr integration. Instacast has offered a nice integration with Flattr since February of this year. Users can flattr their favorite podcasts, and even automatically flattr the podcasts to which users listen, providing real money for content creators. Instacast has now updated their app without Flattr integration, but both Flattr and Instacast say they are taking steps to appeal the decision.
Swedish micro payments provider Flatter has partnered with Dailymotion, the world's second largest video portal with 100 million unique monthly visitors and 20 000+ daily uploads. The partnership will allow viewers to directly pay video creators by "Flattring" online videos, creating what they call the world's first crowd-funded social video network.
Flattr buttons found on the web are very similar to Facebook "like" buttons, but involves a real money transfer to the creators of the content you Flattr. A user's Flattr account has a fixed amount of money to give away each month, and at the end of the month this balance is split between websites, podcasst, videos, and whatever else the user Flattrs. The service is designed to easily repay content creators for their time, while getting rid of the mental task of "how much is this going to cost me?"
Flattr has partnered with Socialvest, an Atlanta, Georgia based service that has deals with 600 U.S. based online retailers to take a percentage of sales and use it for charitable donations. With the Flattr partnership, now whenever a user shops at a participating retailer, they get 1-50% of whatever they spent kicked back into their Flatter account, which they can use to Flattr charities and content creators. Unfortunately Socialvest only focuses on U.S. online retailers, however they're looking into adding Amazon Germany and UK support. Flattr has a large German presence.
Socialvest offeres an interesting service to drive socially conscious shoppers to online retailers. They use a browser plugin to alert users which online retailers will donate a percentage of their purchases to charity. Socalvest does not keep track of surfing habits or credit card details, and keeps itself funded through deals with retailers.
This week we talk to the CEO and Co-founder of Flattr, Linus Olsson. Flattr is a social micro payment system that has recently received a €1.6 million investment that values the company at €10 million. We talked to Olsson about the investment as well as their philosophy behind Flattr. The company has also recently announced partnerships with 5by5 Network as well as Instacast, both working in the space of podcasts. Carrying with the interview, we decided to implement flattring to our podcast as well. If you're using Instacast on the iOS platform to listen to podcasts - you can now flattr us through the arrow link at the bottom of the window.
This week we are supported by Gapps.fi - a Helsinki-based company that brings the Google productivity tools to your workplace. They've got a special offer for all those who ping them and say they came from ArcticStartup. Also, they are looking for talented people to work with them in the area of sales and technical implementation. Big thanks to Gapps for supporting the show.
Flattr, the microtipping service from Sweden, has announced it has closed a 14 million Swedish kronor (€1,6 million) investment from Federico Pirzio-Biroli and Passion Capital. The investment values the company now at 88 million Swedish kronor (€10 million). The service allows content owners to attach (and thus accept) micro donations through a simple Flattr -button on their website. A user can tip as many services online during a single month and the amount the user has allocated to be paid out will be evenly distributed all those who received clicks by that user.
According to the company, the investment was closed actually towards the end of last year, but they were only able to announce it today as the proper paperwork was in place.
TorrentFreak has come out with an article on the situation with the legal problems of the Pirate Bay founders. The Swedish Supreme Court has rejected the leave to appeal in the trial. This essentially means that the sentences in place given to the founders of the file-sharing site will stand. The founders, Peter Sunde, Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm and Carl Lundström, all received sentences of different length, but combined they are required to pay back $6.8 million in damages.
Flattr, the Swedish micropayments service, is trying to get Pay A Blogger Day to become a thing November 29th of this year. I suppose the Day is about as organic as a Hallmark holiday, but it's a smooth way for the micropayments service to get its concept of tangibly paying bloggers for their work into the internet consciousness.
That being said, don't get the impression the Payablogger.org website is a Flattr-fest. They're taking a classy, laid back approach to get the concept out there. There they suggest you click existing "Donate" buttons on websites, buy merchandise, or click the Flattr button if they have one. On top of that, they have a list of popular blogs to donate to that don't seem to support Flattr micropayments.
Last weekend's #Occupy protests saw an outpouring of protesters in the streets of cities all over the world. The anger against banks is accessible to anyone affected by the financial crisis, but is now also easily accessible to anyone able to catch a live stream from a protester's smartphone.
The Swedish mobile live streaming service, Bambuser, has seen a large swing in popularity in part due to the Arab Spring and #Occupy protests. This mobile shift feels like a natural progression as the internet has trended towards making news more instant and unfiltered.
Monetizing content online is a wet dream of many content-creators. Some are putting their creations behind a pay wall, while others grudgingly offer their content for free, hoping for advertising revenue or spill-over effects in other business areas. Some start-ups, however, took it upon themselves to fight the trend and help content-creators monetize their creations without paywalls or other tricks. They simply offer viewers of the content micropayment options to reimburse creators for their troubles. Favor is one of such services that recently emerged from Rovaniemi, Finland. Users can publish any kind of content on Favor's platform (text, audio, video, pictures), share it elsewhere on the internet with a link and encourage followers to 'Return the Favor' - give a small donation (starting from $0.10) to the content creator. 90% of that money goes directly to the author of the content, the rest 10% goes to Favor.
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.
Big news coming out from Britain. Passion Capital, a new investment company has just announced that they've closed a $60 million fund from both private investors as well as the UK government. Private investors put in $20 million and the British government upped the ante with a $40 million. Passion Capital features three partners, Stefan Glaenzer, Eileen Burbidge and Robert Dighero. The trio is among the most high profile angel investors in Europe.
Much has been talked about Flattr since the last time we covered the company in May. Founded by the three guys behind The Pirate Bay, Flattr enables easy micropayments as social donations for the whole web. Many described its service as a Facebook's Like button but with money. When we covered the company, it was still in closed beta. Since then, the service came out of beta and, according to TechCrunch, got more than 46,000 registered users with over €114,000 worth of transactions passing through the system within the first four months of being live. This week Flattr announced a few updates to their service that make the company all the more exciting.
Flattr is a new Swedish service enabling easy microtransactions, or social donations, for the whole web. Flattr wants to make it easy for people to share money in addition to content on the web, and thus allow content producers to get income on their work. The service is currently in closed beta, but I got an account to take a closer look.
In practice, every Flattr member needs to pay at least 2 euros per month (you can up to 5/10/20 as well). Then, during each month, you discover content on the web that you really like, be it text, audio, video, or something else, and you want to "flatter" the creator. You then click a small button the content creator has placed on her site. After each month is over, your monthly allowance (e.g., 2 euros) is divided evenly to all of the content creators whose work you have "flattred" during the month. Flattr itself takes 10% cut initially.