I got a mail this morning, with a registration code for a closed beta, to something called… Flattr.

I was very close, to throwing it in the spam bin – luckily my brain connected the name to something before I did that, and I took a closer look. Flattr is a “social micropayment platform”. Meh, well, everything bloody social, but anyway, it’s supposed to work like this:

1. If you have something of value on the net, you put a “flattr” button in it.

2. If somebody read/watch your content and like it they will click that button.

3. At the end of the month you’ll get a share of that person’s Flattr money for that month.

Ah, just watch the video:

Okay. So will that work?

Well only time will tell.


  • It’s very easy to add to your own site, there are already plug-ins for most blogging/cms software
  • The minimum monthly fee is 2€ which isn’t much.
  • Flat-rate – which means no fear of spending too much by clicking too many times.
  • Most people understand that some things take time to do and deserve pay.


  • No major backers (yet). I would like a Flattr button on my Flickr photos, YouTube videos and Facebook statuses (just kidding on the last one… maybe).
  • There’s a minimum monthly fee. Some people are just cheap or can’t be bothered.
  • Needs critical mass to really make sense. If I pay two € each month, but never really find any sites that have a flattr button, I want to click, I’ll quickly stop.
  • It simply may not work (more on this later).

So it can go either way. It’s still closed beta, but seems stable and the number of plug-ins are already impressive. I do fell that the next step for Flattr is to find some partners who can help them get more mass. If not some of the big boys, maybe people like tumblr or 23hq.

I really do hope that this will work. There’s a lot of great content on the web that deserves a bit of financial recognition.

But I do have a small fear that it just can’t work. I don’t have any numbers, but my fear is that all the small “content providers” (bloggers/photographers/video makers etc), simply can’t make enough money from this for it to be worth the trouble. If I don’t make any real money, from the Flattr Buttons on my site, I’ll remove them – if only for aesthetic considerations. Is it 1, 2, 5, 10 or 50 €/month worth for me to clutter my small bit of the web, with an extra button?

But then again, I do not intend to make a living from my blog, and if anybody want to pay me a few cents that is kind of flattering. So maybe I should just think of it like that. And if the other small bloggers can do the same, maybe this can fly…

4 thoughts on “Flattr

  1. Pingback: TC's blog » Second thoughts on Flattr

  2. peter

    nice summary of the pros and cons. I think everyone involve in flattr is watching closely – it will either (have to be) very big or it will simply flop. Interesting to watch.

  3. Anphicle

    Agreed on the critical mass thing. They also need to open Flattr up to non-tech heads – I wrote about how it could be used as a content discovery service to here but yeah it needs users.

    Good thoughts.


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