Two core issues
Since we started Flattr we have had two big things we have been trying to crack. The first is how to convince creators that people do want to give them money for their free content. To us it sounded like the simplest thing in the world when we started Flattr, turned out to be the opposite. We needed a way to let users show creators they wanted to flattr them. So we created unclaimed flattrs, letting you flattr creators that still haven’t signed up. To date you have still not seen this system in it’s full blown strength, but that is changing right now when we have started to add connections.
The brilliance and headache of the cloud
The second problem we have had is that today people don’t host their own content. It’s in the cloud, like on Soundcloud, Instagram or Vimeo. All these services are totally awesome, but you can’t install our Flattr button there. So even if you want to use flattr as a creator it becomes almost impossible. With connections we can work around this and allow for some magic to happen. Just by adding a connection we can figure out the owner of all the content on that service. That means we can enable flattring of all your songs on Soundcloud, all photos on Instagram and even all your tenth of thousands of tweets on Twitter. No need to submit all your creative works on flattr.com any more.
Automatic flattrs based on activities
In the last post we showed a couple of services that let you auto flattr based on activities on a content site. Eg, “heart” on Instagram or “favourite” on Twitter. A lot of users thinks this is brilliant and we agree. The idea was first tested with Instacast (before Apple banned Flattr in Instacast). You could tell Instacast to flattr everything you listened to in the background. We questioned if people would like the idea of auto flattring, but it turned out to be loved. The real beauty of activity based flattering is that e.g. favorite a tweet can be done in any twitter app just like you can favorite a song in any embedded Soundcloud player. All of a sudden you can flattr right where you consume the content, without the need for an embedded flattr button.
Combining the magic
When you then put the unclaimed system together with the connections the real magic starts. Because we can store an unclaimed flattr for any account on any of the services we support. Meaning that someone can get thousands of unclaimed flattrs for tweets or photos by the Flattr community. The combined flattrs shows that people want to give and when she or he signs up, boom, all the flattrs are real.
We think this is a great step towards the idea of making any content out there flattrble and we hope you are along for the ride. Now it’s time for you to add all your connections, of you go!