Working on updating Flattr

We are currently updating the Flattr system. The most important change is a feature that lets you flattr people who haven’t signed up to Flattr yet. Here is the inside scoop, please read and digest while we are busy doing our magic with the servers.

Background
During the year Flattr has been live we have come to an important conclusion. The hard part with Flattr is not to find people that want to support web content they love, it is getting people to understand that other people want to pay for what they have created. So the next challenge with Flattr is to create a system that enables people to flattr virtually anyone and that shows creators what Flattr could do for them. Oh, and it needs to be safe, non-spammy and scale really well :)

What we have done
Today we go live with our first experimental solution to see if this can be done. Finding an email address for a creator you love is not always easy, unlike finding out someone’s Twitter alias. So we’ve created a feature that lets any Flattr user store a pending flattr to any Twitter user. If the person on the receiving end finally joins Flattr, all the pending flattrs will turn into real ones immediately.

Please handle with care
This is our first attempt to help you support to the people you love, and it may not be perfect, so please use it carefully and bear with us. There’s a fine line between showing support and spamming a creator, and crossing it makes both your support and us look bad.

How to use it
Enter a Twitter name in the new box you find on your dashboard or flattr a thing in the brand new unclaimed category. This will store a pending flattr. You can tweet the user you’ve flattred, so they know there is flattrs waiting for them. When they join the pending flattr will turn into a real one. That means that as long as they don’t join flattr, no money is involved. Neat, right?

Over and out, awesome!

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19 Responses to Working on updating Flattr

  1. So the pending Flattr will be bound to an email adress or a Twitter-Handle? And if you use the email to register / authenticate with Twitter, you get the Flattrs?

    Nice idea – like it.

  2. Linus Olsson says:

    Just twitter as first step.

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  4. Chris says:

    How long will pending flattrs wait for their potential recipient? If they are not claimed, will they return to the sender?

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  6. kriss says:

    Twitter recently deleted my years old user account without warning, whereupon someone else immediately registered the name.

    If you must use or support the twitter twat fest then please make sure you store any links as twitter account IDs rather than as twitter user names. Since not only can these change they often change against your will.

    Despite what twitter may claim a twitter user name is not an identity, so please avoid using them as such.

  7. qnrq says:

    Kriss:

    Thanks for the heads up! We’ve thought about that issue already, and the current implementation we’re currently working on pushing live uses both Twitter usernames and IDs :-)

  8. Thomas Kumlehn says:

    The LOGIN button on the new flattr this landing page does not work on Safari iPad. I had to manually log into flattr.com

  9. Linus Olsson says:

    hm, it works fine in my safari :/

  10. Thomas says:

    Oh, neat.
    I’ve had an idea for such a service years ago – where you can donate to things you like, even if the people don’t have a tip-jar at their page. My dream is coming true through flattr :D Awesome.
    I was thinking even music and movies and such – that would be a great next step. Donating to things you like is 100 times better than paying before you can even get your stuff (or see the movie after buying a ticket). This is a great solution. And not easily hackable I imagine – although you rely a bit on the security on twitter.

  11. stoky says:

    Great new Feature!

    Just one thing to add: it would be great to have more than one flattr-thing for every twitter-user, so you can flattr him more than once a month.

    And having the subscription-feature would also increase the number of flattrs and therefore the likelihood for a new user to sign up.

  12. Chris says:

    On https://flattr.com/unclaimedthings the “Next Page” doesn’t work (Mac, various browsers).

  13. @Chris: This has been fixed now

    @Thomas Kumlehn: Of course – should’ve checked that. Writing a note that it should be fixed. Thanks for reporting!

  14. march. says:

    thank you!

    now please bring on a favstar.fm where all the favs i’m giving are automagically flattrd.

  15. qnrq says:

    @march:

    Looked at favstar.fm, unfortunately they don’t have an open API that we can use. They have a voting taking place on their general forum about it though:

    http://feedback.favstar.fm/forums/22627-general/suggestions/282147-make-an-api-available

    Please do let us know if there’s any other awesome Twitter service that you think we should integrate our Twitter functionality with :-)

  16. @march: Once we release an API for the new functionality it would be easy for systems like favstar.fm to implement support for eg. auto-flattring twitter users of favorited tweets.

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