There is always an overwhelming backlash from the Facebook community whenever the issue of being charged a monthly fee to use the social networking site arises. It seems that everyone is willing to use it for free, but complain incessantly about the new changes that are typically revenue-related. I mean, let's face it: everyone needs money. One of the recent changes the site has made: requiring $1.00 to send a Facebook message to someone who isn't on your list of friends. But who wants to do that?
Enter Flattr, a site launched July 2010 that is trying to change the way we think about the things we 'like' and the content that is truly meaningful to us. It is already being used on both the internet and different smartphone apps such as Instagram, Twitter, Flickr, and Soundcloud just to name a few.
It is purported to be a site one does not mind giving a monthly service fee whatsoever. Why? Because you decide who gets portions of your fee. Wait, what? Read on to find out why Flattr is so very different than other social networking sites.
How to Flattr
Think of Flattr as a jacked-up Facebook like. Everytime you click the “like” button on Facebook, the person who created that content feels great inside, knowing that someone took the time out of their day to read, watch, or listen to it. If they click the “share” button, that's even better. However, when someone clicks the “Flattr” button on Instagram, Soundcloud, Twitter, Github, Flickr, 500px, Vimeo, or App.net, the creator receives a portion of the monthly fee Flattr collects each month.
The lowest-cost option is $2.00, so let's say you only like, favorite, or star four items for the month. You would be giving the creators of those four items .50 cents each. The more you give, the more you can donate to creators. The more you click, the less each creator receives. Let's say you like, favorite, or star a total of 200 items for the month. Your $2.00 didn't help a whole lot, did it?
The company points out that once you start clicking the Flattr button versus simply liking content, you are making a difference in the lives of the creators you support with each successive Flattr. As they say on their website, “Paying for content does not only feel good, it makes the world a better place.”
You'll feel great for contributing to each creator monetarily, giving them more to work with on future creations. Creators will feel great knowing that you liked their content enough to donate a portion of your monthly fee towards future content, and will likely appreciate the sentiment no matter if you are donating a penny or three dollars towards their work.
Another goal of Flattr is to keep the internet content available to users free and open. They know that the more creators feel the love from users in the form of monetary donations, the more likely the content they are creating will be available to users free of charge. They believe it is “the next step in the internet evolution.”
Head over to the Flattr website to sign up for a Flattr account, choose your monthly budget, and start Flattring! The company expects more sites to sign up for the service. On the 10th of each month, a Flattr check is sent out to each creator who received likes or favorites for the prior month. If they are not signed up for a Flattr account, that's ok.
There is a list on Flattr's website of unclaimed checks within each compatible service. If you want to make your likes go the extra mile in the hopes that your favorite creators have more resources to create their next masterpiece, then head over and sign up today.