Flattr co-founder, Linus Olsson

I often get asked “why did you start Flattr?” It’s a question I love, because it’s easy to answer. Even though the answer is long the goal has always been obvious for us.

The internet is this wonder of creativity, information and imagination. It has unleashed people’s creative forces and the power it gives in the form of tools, reach and distribution is beyond anything we could have imagined twenty years ago, and the speed of how we got here is amazing.

But, because there is always a but, almost all creativity on the internet is funded by ads. Unfortunately, the revenue generated by this model is not enough is not enough to sustain the internet, let alone evolve it to the next level.

Sure, some superficial stuff works fine when funded with ad revenue: the click bait, the ad-littered slideshow articles, the reposting of others’ memes, videos and creations.

To date the highest-quality content can only be produced because it has economic backing from the physical world in some form: a physical newspaper or cable TV subscription, or maybe the creator does paid lectures or sells concert tickets.

This is the sad truth of internet creativity today. When the day arrives that revenue disappears for most physical content (which it will), digital content will also be lost or at least production will be severely hampered.

This is why we created Flattr. Because the internet needs to thrive, grow and evolve. As long as consumers can’t support it with real money, creation for pure internet consumption can’t reach its true potential.

 

Learn more about joining Flattr as a creator or a contributor

8 thoughts on “The Flattr vision, a creative internet beyond ad revenue

  1. Keep it transparent, please. When will the plugin be released into open source?

    For example, I don’t understand when are sites turned on or turned off by default.

  2. Hey Ajay, we’re really glad to hear it! If you have any feedback or questions then we’re here to help.

  3. Dear Flattr, please publish a top list of web sites that accept Flattr. I’ve not found a single one yet!

  4. Hey Nikolaj, this is definitely on the agenda for us. We’ll be sure to publish something about it when it’s live.

  5. It’s hard to promote Flattr when I don’t know about more than a handful of supported websites and creators. It would be useful if the Flattr website could showcase and promote some popular flattrable content.

  6. Hey Daniel, this is definitely something we will do – it’s very important to us that it’s easy to find flattr-able content/creators. We will post on here when we launch it.

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