Launch ‘Flattr Plus’ to restore the Internet’s original payments capability
Flattr, the content-funding tool that already paid 30,000 creators since 2010, and Adblock Plus, the #1 most popular browser extension for blocking annoying online advertisements with more than 500 million downloads, announced Flattr Plus, a new project that will fund online publishers and creators. Flattr Plus will restore an essential payments capability missing from the World Wide Web since Tim Berners-Lee invented it 27 years ago.
In doing so, Flattr Plus will let hundreds of millions of users directly and sustainably fund content they love – without reliance on ads, paywalls or paying for single articles.
Flattr Plus is based on the Flattr project, founded by Peter Sunde and Linus Olsson in 2010 to let people fund content they love. Flattr earned widespread consumer applause when it became the method for donating money to WikiLeaks after Visa, MasterCard and PayPal cut off access to funds.
Users sign up for Flattr Plus and set their own monthly budget with which they can “flattr” anything on the Web: a favorite blogger, a musician, an artist, an online newspaper, etc. Flattr Plus has solved the challenges of frictionless payments and also apportioning payments automatically according to the websites a user engages with – while protecting privacy.
Payments were intended to be incorporated into the original fabric of the Web to provide a way for users to make contributions to the original author of any content. However, the capability was not technologically feasible then, when the Web was just beginning.
“Our goal with Flattr Plus is to finally evolve the Web into what it was supposed to have been to begin with; a place for creators to meet their audience, and a mechanism for audiences to directly and sustainably support creators,” said Peter Sunde, co-founder of Flattr and infant-terrible at Pirate Bay.
“The idea of great content has gotten lost in clickbait headlines and slideshow articles. All with the goal of generating advertising revenues. If we want to reverse that trend, we need a funding model that is based on engagement and attention rather than mere visits. I am convinced that people’s growing willingness to support great content is the next big change for the Web. And it will happen if we provide them with a simple, easy-to-use solution that allows them to fund the art, music and journalism they love. So that’s what we are building,” said Linus Olsson, co-founder of Flattr and lead developer of Flattr Plus.
“The current model of showing obnoxious ads to users and violating their privacy in return for content has failed: users are increasingly frustrated with the advertising experience on the Web and at the same time aggressive ads provide less and less value to publishers,” said Till Faida, co-founder of Adblock Plus and parent company Eyeo. “With our Acceptable Ads initiative we have already proven that fewer and better ads provide more value; with Flattr Plus we’ll go one step further, providing even more choice to users in how they compensate publishers for the content they consume. Moreover, with our many millions of users we are uniquely positioned to establish a completely new monetization method for publishers that rewards good content while respecting users.”
Whereas in previous “micropayment” schemes users have the task of manually funding single articles, the Flattr Plus algorithm automatically apportions the budget based on which websites the user engages with the most.
Flattr Plus will work for all publishers and content creators who already have Flattr. Those that do not, can register with Flattr and will then be able to receive payments through Flattr Plus as soon as it is released.
All interested users can sign up for Flattr Plus starting today to get access to the beta as early as possible https://flattrplus.com. The product will be released in beta early this summer.
Flattr Plus will be available globally by the end of this year.
About Adblock Plus
Adblock Plus is an open source project that aims to rid the Internet of annoying and intrusive online advertising. Its free web browser extensions (add-ons) put users in control by letting them block or filter which ads they want to see. Users across the world have downloaded Adblock Plus over 500 million times, and it has remained the most downloaded and the most used extension almost continuously since November 2006. PC Magazine named the extension as one of the best free Google Chrome extensions, and it received About.com readers’ choice award for best privacy/security add-on.
Flattr is a social microdonations service, founded in 2010 to help creators get paid for their digital content in a manner that is aligned with how people use the Internet.
Flattr acknowledges that everyone can be a creator on the Internet. All accounts can both give and receive Flattrs. Flattr can be used as a complement to accepting donations. Or to having advertising. It can be used by everyone: corporate publishing houses, independent bloggers, artists, software developers.
Flattr wants to promote and sustain a free and open Internet by allowing users to value what they get from the Internet and support creators monetarily to help them create more awesomeness.
Since its first launch in 2010, over 30,000 content creators received payments through Flattr.