4 questions about Flattr & MangoPay

Everything you need to know about the new terms and the usage of MangoPay, in 4 questions and answers.

1. Flattr is asking to sign news terms and to fill in some new information. What are the differences between the new and the old terms?

The big changes are mainly the addition of the MangoPay terms. Besides that we have basically just removed things that was not needed anymore. If you want to know exactly what changed, check this diff.

keep-calm-and-answer-my-questions-52. What will happen if an user doesn’t update the information and sign the new term?

Then will the account be suspended. When suspended you can not add and withdraw money or send and receive flattrs. To activate the account you just need to sign in and update the info though.

If you don’t activate your account within three months, your account will be removed and any money, flattrs and things will be lost. We will obviously contact users multiple times to ensure they know what is happening and try and help out in the best way possible. We don’t want to delete accounts but we are not allowed to have accounts that lacks KYC information so we have to.

3. What are the 3 main problems MangoPay is solving?

Firstly, the complexity of our double wallets. We have one for money you give and one for money you receive. A solution we had to have due to legislation, not choice. This also means we can’t allow you to withdraw money you added, also due to legislation. With Mango we will merge these two and you can withdraw all of it.

Secondly, we will eventually be able to do standard transfers between accounts, something that we are not allowed to do now either.

And, last but not least, bank transfers in and out. So you will withdraw the revenue directly to your bank rather than via PayPal or Skrill. This also means that if you want to use Paypal or Skrill this it the time to do it as it will not be possible after the move to Mango.

This blogpost tells your more

4. Flattr has abandoned Bitcoin funding because of “technical issues”. Can you be more specific? What was the exact problem? Was Bitcoin used at all ?

The payment provider had a window of payment of 15 minutes, too many transactions did not arrive during this time and gave us way to many technical issues and admin overhead. Not to say unhappy customers. Bitcoin was used, but it was just a few % of the money added to the system each month. Meaning the problems it caused could not be justified economically.

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Flattr developer update #1 – Responsive

In the process of creating a new Flattr experience responsive design is obviously core. Time to show the first iteration of the design and UX for what is to come. 

Simplicity and usability will the main focus in this update. The mobile web demands the removal of clutter. That is a good thing as it forces us to make the hard choices. A lot of things will go, some will stay, few will be added.

profile

Profile will be cleaned up and focus on letting you express yourself. It will scale gracefully on mobile platforms.

 

simpleTo the left is the transaction history in full size desktop version. The main drop down menu is also visible. To the right is a sign in screen showing that the mobile versions will not just scale but also degrade gracefully to handle the screen estate better. The main menu on top of all pages are the one you get when logged in (obviously should there be another one on the sign in screen) and as you can see it also adapts to different screen sizes.

This is how things looks on the drawing board right now, nothing you see here are final and feedback in the comments are welcome.

Until next time!

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Flattr is back in Instacast

Over two years ago we stated that this is not the end when Apple bluntly forced the best ever Flattr integration out of the worlds favorite podcast app, Instacast. It took quite a while but now it’s back! Via the new Instacast Cloud feature of both the iOS and Mac apps you can effortlessly Flattr all the podcasts you love so much.

instacast

The Instacast Cloud is built to handle sync of all your Instacast devices. But it also makes it possible to automatically Flattr the podcasts you listen to.

Just connect your Instacast Cloud account with your Flattr account to enable automatic flattring of podcast episodes.

 

You can choose to flattr once you finish playing an episode, once you mark an episode as favorite or once you mark an episode as played. As soon as one of these events happen, Instacast communicates with Instacast Cloud and will flattr the episode automatically.

Don’t forget to tell your favorite podcasters to get a Flattr account too.

Download instacast and start flattring!

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Time to update your account

keep-calm-and-update-your-accountUpdate: We have decided to give people more time. July 20th is the new date.

As written earlier we are about to improve our payments. In order to do this we need to ask you to update your account with some information that is required for what is called a KYC.

KYC stands for Know Your Customer and is a EU wide law to counter money laundry and other foul play. As a service that handles your money this law states that we need to collect and store information about the people giving and sending money. When using PayPal or Skrill the KYC responsibility lies with them, which is why you have to give them personal information during payments. Now that we move over to use MangoPay, the KYC responsibility falls upon us.

 

What you need to do before July 20th, 2014

Update your account details. Just go to your account settings and enter any missing information. Accounts without this information will be suspended on the 20th of July and later deactivated permanently.

Our terms have been updated and amended with the terms of MangoPay. You should read our new terms and the terms for MangoPay.

This will be a great thing for the future of Flattr, but if you don’t agree to the above, you can just close your account.

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Developing a new Flattr experience

Time flies and things changes, specially the internet. So it’s time for us to change too. So we are redesigning Flattr. As design is not just looks, but also how it works, everything will be redone from the ground up. Come join us, you are invited to follow the process!

under-construction-flashing-barracade-animation

Obvious illustration, right?

Flattr was launched over 4 years ago. Since then have features come and gone, but the main concept and usage has not really changed. The internet have though, a lot. When we started the iPhone 3G was the hottest thing and Twitter still had an open API.

Today we have a web that is simple and accessible but controlled by a few huge companies and it’s more in your pocket than on your desk. The changes have brought the bad with the good and it’s now time for us to make the best of the new. We still believe in a paid but free web and therefor are we embarking on this redesign and there will be a few surprises on the way.

Complexity
We have always wanted to make Flattr as simple as possible to use and understand. As the basic concept is quite hard to grasp the rest needs to be super simple. In reality it’s not and have never been. So it’s time to change this. This redesign is completely aimed towards  simplification, mobility and accessibility. This will means a lot will change and even more will be removed. You will probably feel a bit lost and certainly question our judgment several times. As always change does not instinctively feel great.

Payments
As you could read in our last blog post the first thing we will change is how the payments works. We do this, because we now can. When we started we thought that handling the actual payments would be simple. We thought we could find a service that could do it for us. Turned out that was not the case. Now the service we always wanted is here and we will use it and it will be great.

Mobile first
Obviously the mobile web did exist when we started Flattr, but it was not large enough of a visitor base to put real effort into. Today it’s almost the opposite. This means Flattr should be mobile first. Luckily the tools today makes for great and simple mobile first development. Not the “lets make two sites” strategy that was common some years ago.

We will to be open and transparent about the what we plan, think and do. This is the place where you can read, comment and follow the progress.

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Time for change, our payments

43039085For a long long time our payments has been an annoying itch of ours. Handling money is very legislated and controlled. So our payments have been illogical, hard to use and stopped us from doing what we want. This is about to change!

As we are starting a cooperation with the payment platform MangoPay, we will soon be able to do a lot of things that we weren’t able to do before. As we plan do this transition we wanted to give you a heads up and also tell you about the great things to come.

- A single wallet for your money. No longer will we be forced to keep your money separated in incoming/outgoing wallets. Your account will have one wallet and the money in it is yours to use anyway you want. Yes, this means that you will be able to withdraw any money that you’ve deposited, should you change your mind.

- Withdrawals will always be made directly to your bank account. We will no longer use Paypal or Skrill for this.

- Adding money will be simpler and straight forward. Recurring payments, auto top-up when you run out of money and (functioning) bank transfers directly into your Flattr account are all things that will be possible.

- Direct transfers of money between Flattr accounts. For those of you that have been around for a while think donations but easier to use.

Some general account changes will also be necessary as we need to start collecting basic information about our users. Especially if you are a large receiver or giver. This is called a KYC (Know your customer) and is an EU law to counter money laundry. Previously PayPal and Skrill indirectly handled this for us, which is why your Flattr account could be fairly void of personal information before.

This is just the first of a series of great changes for Flattr this year. Lets go!

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14 Spanish Comics You Can Support

Thanks to our amazing community, and evangelism, we are now taking a big leap into the Spanish Comic Community. Helping creators get a little back from their hard work.

Via Las Crónicas PSN we found a list of 14 comics that have signed up both to support each other, and to allow their readers to show their gratitude. Below is a sample of the 14 comics, enjoy!

Las Crónicas PSN

El Sistema D13

Oseano

Obliterast

HTZ

Art 88-46

1 Millón de Monos

Dragon Mail

Odiolitos

Vaya Juventud

Sinergia sin control

Cargols

No hay papel

La Abuela Manuela

If you want to find other Web-comics on Flattr there is plenty waiting for you in our catalog.

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Support artists while you listen to them!

Ever made a deep sigh when it comes to the possibility, or lack there of, of supporting the artists you want to listen to? Some are making it a lot easier for you, while others still try to lock their material behind as many paywalls as possible.

In the past year it has been possible for you to flattr music as you listen to it on Grooveshark. Unfortunately most of the popular artists don’t know that they have money waiting for them and have not signed up to get their share of the cake.

Luckily for us there are actually a number of artists who do. It is important that we support artists that recognise that there’s a shift coming on monetizing their content. We want to make it easier for to you support them, so we created this little playlist. The artists are identified through MusicBrainz.

All the songs in the play just were found through a search on Flattr. Among the the artists listed are Amanda Palmer, Message to Venus, Moto Boy, Binärpilot, Professor Kliq, Dubmood and more.

Sign up to Grooveshark and connect your Flattr account! Then go over and subscribe to this playlist. Listen through it and see what you like.

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Bootstrapping the Podcast Economy with Flattr

Over on the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast Dave Slusher wrote the following about how Podcasters and listeners can work together to kick start the use of Flattr on Podcasts, as a mutually beneficial arrangement.

by derrickkwa @ FlickrBootstrapping a Podcast Economy with Flattr
Very short version: I think Flattr has the possibility of enabling a reasonable podcast economy. If enough people use it, podcasters will be able to generate an income with minimal overhead. If I pointed you here from an email, it is because I want to give you money.

Slightly longer background:
If you are unfamiliar with Flattr, it is a very low friction microdonation system. The brilliant thing they did was to separate out the cash decision from the payment decision. Unlike most where you have to decide whether to pay $0.03 vs $0.05, that decision has a mental transaction cost. With Flattr, you allocate a pool of money to pay each month then you “Flattr” which is basically the same thing as a Digg, a Facebook like or a +1. The things you like in a month, that pool of money is spread equally across all of those. Brilliant.

I have had Flattr on my blog/podcast for a few years. It has been an interesting experiment and worth doing, but not a huge revenue producer for me. To this date, the using of Flattr was a niche, early adopter thing. My hope – and the reason for my push for advocacy – is that this spreads out into a more widely adopted platform.

In a world where this was as common as, say, Digg was at its height then there would be a reasonable amount of money flowing in a roughly meritocratic manner. The more listeners you have, in general the more money that should flow towards you. The money that comes into podcasting now is distributed quite bi-modally. The top 5% makes livable money from Stamps.com and Legal Zoom et al, the bottom 95% makes little or nothing. I’ve been lucky enough to sell t-shirts and make a little from sponsorships via the very kind folks at Backbeat Media. Over the course of this podcast, I am probably close to break even on hosting, equipment and various expenses. That probably puts me in the top 20 percentile of podcasters because most people pay expenses and earn nothing.

My pledge is that I will flattr every episode of every podcast in my subscription list that has it enabled. If you run off of WordPress, you can install the Flattr plugin and go to town. Make sure you check the option to put payment information in your RSS/Atom feed and you are good to go. I’m still looking for auto-flattring solutions, but for now I’m manually clicking the button on the site of every pocaster that has it on their site. The trickle has begun, I hope to see a wider adoption over time. If the amount climbs enough, I will increase the amount of money I give.
My appeal is two-fold. If you are a podcast listener and a fan, sign up for an account. The site is in Euros, that is no impediment to Americans. The money will auto-convert from your credit card. All of the podcasters that you listen to, flattr their episodes either automatically via a podcatcher or manually.

If you are a podcaster, create a Flattr account and let people give you money. If you run WordPress it is super easy, others might be slightly more work but nothing is hard to do. If you have technical questions, I volunteer to be your tech support. Be patient, don’t expect anything huge at first but I can guarantee nothing about this will suck money away from you. At worst, you wasted a few minutes. At best, you might find yourself paying your hosting or more with the money that flows in.

Because this is a “boil the ocean” situation, the early going has been and is tough. It makes little sense to sign up as a listener when there is nothing to flattr. As a creator, it makes little sense to invest in a platform with few users. Let’s cut through that, and push on both fronts simultaneously with a mutual leap of faith. Neither group has much to lose, so let’s all just do it. I’m doing both ends myself, so I’m as invested as I can be. Dan Benjamin of 5by5.tv does it for all their shows, the biggest network adopter I know of at this point. As Rage Against the Machine sings: “It has to start somewhere, it has to start sometime. What better place than here? What better time than now?”
This is already long, in a future post I’ll talk about auto-flattr solutions for podcast listeners.

For now, I urge everyone to give this a try. You click like, +1 and similar things all day every day. You understand the paradigm, let’s do it in a system where your money matches your attention.


If you liked this post you can flattr the original post here:

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German IT news site Golem gives you Flattr

Golem.de, one of the biggest (and best) German news site for the IT industry with a monthly user base of 1.8 million and over 12 million visits each month adds Flattr support for all their articles.

In our last blog post we talked about the fact that many people don’t like ads. Golem.de knows this too. When they asked their readership to turn off ad-blockers it sparked a discussion about revenue options available, in this Flattr was suggested.

Because Golem’s readership asked for Flattr integration you can now flattr all their articles.

Golem also changed the integration of their social buttons to transmit less information to third party sites they also added Flattr for each article. Normally social buttons will send information to the other sites with each page load. The new integration will share the necessary information only when someone wants to share an item. Something their users also requested.

We welcome Golem to Flattr. Now go to their Flattr profile and give them a warm welcome!

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