The most important reason for building the new Flattr system is simplification. Flattr is so different from any other payment product that usability has to be our main goal. This is how we will fight the monsters complexity.

We have silently removed several features the last years. Something you might (not) have noticed. Other minor changes have already been announced. The rest of the new Flattr changes are very much the opposite, noticeable and major.

More is seldom a good idea.

“Add money to your likes” is the main way we communicate how the Flattr system works right now.  A great notion and idea that was loved by users and press when launched. But it was an idea that in reality did not work out. Multitude of issues has plagued this feature since launch, from Twitter forbidding it to constant undocumented API updates from Google. So this feature will be removed in the next version of Flattr. We can’t build the main way we communicate Flattr on an idea that technically does not work perfectly. As of the next Flattr version, the feature will be provided as a third party collector through FlattrStar.

Unclaimed flattrs
This was also a great idea, specially in combination with the favorite-flattr feature. Problem being that there are tons and tons of unclaimed flattrs that the creators has no clue exists. Sure some creators have noticed and signed up, but the long tail of unclaimed flattrs has no chance of being claimed, ever. Probably also long forgotten by the user who flattred. The unclaimed flattrs also missed the target when it comes to explaining to new users how Flattr works. People always have a “show me the money” attitude. The unclaimed flattrs does not have that. The new Flattr system will try and fix these problems. But at launch unclaimed flattrs will be gone.

When we started Flattr we planned for content discovery to be a major part of the Flattr experience. For this we needed meta data such as title, tags, type, etc. With this we could then make things searchable, create top-lists, categories, a catalog and show trending content. The existing discoverability does though look like there are very few things that can be flattred. Something that is not true. Majority of all content does not show up in the catalog because of two reasons. Most content is added to our system without any meta data and only the things people actually flattred at least once are known to us. Discovery will not be a part of the next Flattr version. We might create a staff picks section for new users.

10 thoughts on “Flattr developer update #5 – What is left behind

  1. “At launch unclaimed flattrs will be gone.” in the sense of all your money is belonging to us?

    What happens with the unclaimed flattrs? Who get’s the money behind them?

  2. Unclaimed flattrs are not executed until they have a receiver. So no money has been “held” for them.

    And you not knowing this, shows that it was a bad idea.

  3. “People always have a “show me the money” attitude.”

    instead of deleting all unclaimed flatters i strongly suggest you, to start a campaign to claim those before they are lost and use them as a ‘show me the money’-argument.

    as in ‘look, sign up now, this many flattrs are still waiting for you to be claimed’.

  4. Please re-integrate unclaimed flattr in the midterm ! It’s one of the most valuable features in the political context of cultural change and copyright change !

  5. I’m a bit confused, and hopefully you can clear up… Flattr from the start we saw as an ideal way to have people place an amount aside that they want to share with all good things. That we could receive micro payments, for viewers of our news items. This required clicking. But now, unless I’ve misunderstood, some platforms (and not open to us) will have every time something is listened to, auto receive a share. Now in our case, we’re not a blog that is from some ready-made system and thus our time and input over 16 years wasn’t just writing or editing or copying and pasting. It was heavy development of a stand-alone CMS and news distribution system, all done on sacrifice of a few, and in addition to that, we posted over 100,000 content. Our work has been humungous, unlike someone who simply signs up to YouTube or WordPress and then starts speaking or writing. The point here is this: if we only get the odd occasional click on our Flattr buttons, while readers who are Flattr users view say 100 items in a month, but bother to click only twice, but view videos and sound tracks on sites that automatically get a slice every time without them doing anything, now we will get less than 1 cent, while they get a dollar. We would like to go back to trying to promote Flattr among our readers, and to make this work for independent media which have really big expenses: our own hosting, our own technical headaches and work, our own editing and writing. If we could have a system whereby every Flattr user who Flatts say a main button, or one or two article buttons, then the option to automatically receive a share for each article they read in the month, then the field is more level again, unless I’ve misunderstood the update #5. Thanks in advance, and welcome to contact directly to discuss this and other issues with media directly.

  6. The other point to the above, if this is the case, Flattr would be encouraging the dumbing down and centralization of the web platforms, i.e. for people who just go onto Facebook, YouTube or some other platform, rather than work hard at creating their own independent platforms, such as e.g. developers at Mathaba, GNUSocial, Friendica… have done?

  7. Hm, I really don’t see a difference here. The only thing we want to achieve is simplification. If people don’t need to click something they are more likely to Flattr. Goes for every site and system.

  8. OK so I misunderstood… this is somehting we, any site, can implement! I followed the link but it semeed to take to the wrong page, no explanation there?

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