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European social micropayment service Flattr officially opened up its beta test today, allowing anyone to sign up and spread the love as well as rake in the dough. Flattr is a little bit like Digg for micropayments: Bloggers, online video producers and other content owners can integrate Flatttr buttons into their sites and posts, and users can then click on these buttons to compensate them for their work.
Clicks are counted and displayed in real time, but there’s no way of telling how much money a creator will get for each click, because Flattr uses an interesting twist on the pool-of-money idea. A user can pay anywhere from €2 to €100 ($2.50 to $128) per month, and this money then gets equally distributed between the creators whose works he flattrs, minus a 10 percent fee. For example, if your monthly Flattr budget is €5 and you click ten Flattr buttons, then each creator will receive €0.45. Click only one time per month, and that creator will get €4.50. Check out the video below for more details.
Flattr was co-founded by former Pirate Bay spokesperson Peter “Brokep” Sunde, who is working for the company from Berlin. His presence in Germany and appearances at various German new media events have led to a huge wave of adoption within that country, with even the small-but-notable liberal daily newspaper “die tageszeitung” using the platform on its website. The paper reported that it made 1420 Euros in July with Flattr, and other well-known bloggers have also seen some notable revenue.
Peter Sunde told me that Flattr currently has more than 30,000 registered users, but declined to go into specifics about the company’s revenue. The service has seen more than 47,000 works submitted so far. It’s fair to assume that many of the early adopters are also content creators, and it will be interesting to see how the revenue of individual content creators develops now that the service is open to the public.
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