Flattr is a new way to help people to pay for content they like online. The public launch of the company comes a few months after the launch of Kachingle, a site with a similar concept that I am testing on Fast Media Magazine. Flattr allows you to pay for content you like online in a voluntary and novel fashion. Before solutions of this kind you could only donate incidentally to individual sites. Flattr works differently. You deposit an amount on your Flattr account first. When you visit a site witht he Flattr button you can click on it and acivate it for payment. The next time you visit your activated sites the funds from your Flattr account will be divided evenly among them.
Suppose you fund your account with $10 per month. If you only visit on site that month, it gets the full amount (minus a small % for Flattr). If you visit 100 sites, each one gets $0.10. This is how Flattr describes it:
Flattr solves this issue. When you’re registered to flattr, you pay a small monthly fee. You set the amount yourself. In the end of the month, that fee is divided between all the things you flattered. You’re always logged in to the account. That means that giving someone some flattr-love is just a button away. And you should! Clicking one more button doesn’t add to your fee. It just divides the fee between more people! Flattr tries to encourage people to share. Not only pieces of content, but also some money to support the people who created them. With love!
Flattr can be used as a compliment to accepting donations. Or to having advertising on your blog. Or to help getting small donations you never get for your open source software.
With a number of these new micropayment solutions hitting the web it will be interesting to see if users, who are used to free content, will be prepared to pay for information they value. Would you consider it?