One of the goals we’ve had for quite some time is to make Flattr a mobile-friendly product, in the true sense of the words. As the Flattr extension can’t be used on mobile this has to be more than just be a change of “design”. It demanded a new approach to how the system is used.

As extensions can’t be used in a mobile browser (Firefox as the exception) and it’s the Flattr extension that does the flattrs, we need to have something that replaces that and works on mobile. The solution is to replace the extension with you. You decide what to add to your list of contributions. We will provide you with lists of the most popular creators, sites and projects, as well as the ability to search from the more than 70k creators, sites, publishers and projects already registered as receivers. Anything from a project, a Twitter user or a Youtuber, to an Opensource project to a Podcast or Website can be supported with Flattr.

One of the tons of UI sketches done for the new contributor dashboard (left). Then they go through mocking up a design (right) before finally getting implemented. None of these are representative of how the final product will be.

This will work a lot like the Podcast and Youtube flattr functions we had, but universally across every receiver. With the difference that the distribution of the funds between all the receivers will be fully up to you (soon). We have migrated both the existing Podcast and the Youtube features into this new use case, as to have a generalised way of managing all your Flattr contributions. (And because Youtube broke their API, boo hoo.)

You are in full control
You will then be able to change the distribution between them with simple clicks on your new contributor dashboard (which will be fully mobile friendly). Making it easy to give a little more or a little less to the creators or projects you care more or less about. All still coming from one single monthly subscription that you can easily change or cancel at any time.

Everything is designed with the prime use case of you sitting on the bus killing time, as we all do.

When will it happen?
It’s happening as we write this. Each feature that’s planned will be live when ready, we are not waiting for everything to be done before we deploy. These changes demanded some heavy backend improvements that we had to do first, but now we are starting to deploy the frontend changes as soon as they are ready. You can already see your new contributor dashboard if you have any Flattr contributions. Like this.

New contributor dashboard. The first version does not have the ability to change money between the receivers.

If you don’t have any recurring contributions why not add Wikipedia, EFF and CGP Grey.

Will the extension still work?
Yes, if you are on desktop you can continue to use Flattr with the extension and are free to do so. Just know that if you add contribution as above, your extension flattrs and manual contribution comes from the same budget.

What does this mean for me as a Creator?
This will be a vast improvement for you creators. First, there will be straight forward and simple ways to share your contribution signup page so your fans can start to support you. This signup is extremely streamlined (email + card, only) and takes less than a minute to go through (so no excuses for your fans ;) ). But also when they decide how much each receiver will get in advance you will be able to see in realtime how many contributors you have and how much they give you each month. Helping you learn what works, what they love and allows you to plan ahead. We will update you on these plans in due time and all this will be deployed as soon as it’s ready.

We hope all this will be loved as much as what we’ve done before, and as always, the comments are the place to give feedback and ask questions.

19 thoughts on “Going full mobile web, with you behind the dashboard

  1. I’m actually starting to think this is actually a good platform for creators and entertainers. I’m going to reccommend it to some of my friends. Let’s hope that they see what I see :D <3

  2. This addition does not really solve mobile at all, it just allows us to add our personal, biased perception to systemic algorithm behind the add-on.
    It does not seem to really be focused on mobile or solve any problems associated with mobile browsing.

    For me its the statistics of my readership what is the coolest feature of flattr. Ability to transfer money to creators is a good add-on on top of that, but not very useful when 95-99% of the web is not participating in the system. But the stats allowed me to decide where to donate, also outside the flattr system.

  3. I’m curios if you’re trying to make Flattr work for many creators or just a select few. Will this system only work to boost the top platform’s creators, as your post suggest, or also try to promote or recommend other creators? E.g. people who support the same creators as you also support these creators (the apriori algorithm). Or at least a featured or randomized set of creators or trending creators that will be rotated over time?

  4. Will creators get any additional statistics to understand their Flattr revenue stream? Statistics such as average retention time (how many sustained months on average contributors have continued to contribute to you), revenue profile (how many percentage of your contributors contribute 1 USD/mo., 0.5 USD/mo., etc.), and similar aggregate data can be really useful to understand how successful, sustainable, and balanced their Flattr revenue streams are without disclosing any personal data about their contributors.

  5. Kris: It solves it the sense of making Flattr useable for the mobile user. It does not “make the extension work on mobile” as that prospect is not possible. The added benefit of knowing what you consume obviously also isn’t possible on mobile then. Sadly.

  6. Daniel: We will try and promote great content from an as wide a set of creators as possible, but we need to start somewhere. Recommendations are not possible until we have data to do that type of correlations well either. That said we tried to do this type of thing years ago and it is extremely hard to get right.

    About stats, there are plenty of data that we can supply (without privacy intrusion). The first will be data helping them understand what they can expect. Secondly we want to help them be successful, as you are suggesting, but that is second. And before this we need to redo the creator dashboard in general. And that will come after the completed contributor parts. Puuh..hehe

  7. Chris: We have actually not included that intentionally. We (and the creator) don’t want the potential contributor to fall off but to sign up to the contribution. Anyone who follows a “donation link” to support the creator would in majority of cases be very aquatinted with what the creator does already. Hence our focus is to make that person give the creator money. Linking to other content/platforms are better done where they where prior to ending up on Flattr, is our logic here.

  8. Would it be impossible to add a flattr layer to some opensource mobile browser?
    Really big step forward would be to try to get some paywalled portal to let flattr browser behind the paywall or at least some sites complaining about adblocks to turn off their complaining pop-ups.
    Setting constant contribution makes flattr nothing more than a culture&publishing donation centre, which may be a relatively comfortable niche at the moment, but soon it will be conquered by a fintech that covers a broader range of payments.
    Your data could be worth something to partners. Everybody has their own analytics, but they are biased. Clicks, time spent or social shares do not really reflect reader’s satisfaction, while my number of flattrs per article reflects it (I tend to add extra 1-3 flattrs to articles I really liked, on top of what algorithm calculates. But the automatic counter is also good and can be advertised to potential partners)

  9. Kris: It would be possible to add Flattr to an open source browser, but a browser, that would be a project that is well beyond what we can handle in the Flattr team.

    All the other comments, you have made a correct analysis according to me. The type we work with as one of many the assumptions going forward.

  10. Maybe you could offer to creators Flattr logos or buttons (“Support me on Flattr”) so that the links will be easily recognizable, rather than everyone using just a text link. Of course it would be awesome if a button could optionally show the current number of supporters. It’s much easier to get new supporters if you can show that you already have some.

  11. Chris: Some “creator resources” should absolutely be done, but first we focus on getting things operational =)

    Showing the count would demand JS or an external image creator specific image. Both options are often something sites do not allow for so even though it’s technically very possible, it would for majority not work in a real world scenario :(

  12. Showing the number of reoccurring contributors in the creator dashboard would be a nice start. 😉

    Everyone (Twitter, Facebok) seems to already have or is in the process of moving away from showing precise numbers of actions and followers in promotional action-buttons and the like.

    The incentives and reactions to seeing social proof (e.g. a supporter counter) can vary greatly and you may not get the desired effect. What would anyone’s incentive be to support you if they can see that you already have got a million supporters?

    I’d [still] be interested in standard banner ads for promoting Flattr. I’ve asked for it before but I guess you guys have always been too busy to prioritize marketing your service.

  13. I’m trinkets in case you’re attempting to make Flattr work for some makers or only a chosen few. Will this framework just work to help the top stage’s makers, as your post propose, or likewise attempt to advance or prescribe different makers? For example individuals who bolster indistinguishable makers from you additionally bolster these makers (the apriori calculation). Or if nothing else an included or randomized arrangement of makers or drifting makers that will be turned after some time?

  14. This addition does not really solve mobile at all, it simply enables us to add our private, partial view behind the add-on to the systemic algorithm. It doesn’t really seem to focus on mobile or fix any mobile browsing-related issues.

  15. Of course we want an as wide as possible pool of creators to be visible through our recommendations. But doing this well is way way way more complicated than it might seem at first. We poured large resources into solving this many years ago, without great result. There are companies spending billions on recommendations (eg youtube) and even they have problems doing it well. So yes, it’s complicated. In short, as a creator the main concept has to be that you are the one that finds your own audience and hence your own contributors. What we need to do is help new users that comes from our acquisition channels to get up and running using Flattr.

    Apoorv: Why does it not? What are you looking for?

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