Flattr, the micropayment startup founded by ex-Pirate Bay associates, has opened to the public today. No longer will you need an invite in order to add the Flattr button to your web site as a publisher or to give support to the sites you visit with real money.
Flattr’s micropayments business model is based on the idea of people tipping content they like, Digg or perhaps Facebook Like buttons – but this time with real money. Users can “Flattr” content by setting up a Flattr account which sets a a monthly fee — a minimum €2 — that they are willing to contribute for any kind of online content. When the user finds something they like that has a Flattr button, they can click the button to “reward” the content provider. At the end of the month, the user’s monthly fee is split equally among the holders of the content that they “flattered”.
However, Flattr isn’t the only startup working on this type of micropayment model. Rewrd offers a similar service, although, ultimately, with both sites vying for the attention of publishers and web consumers, it’s likely that there will eventually be only one winner. And on that note, Flattr is off to a fine start.
Update: Along with opening up to the public, Flattr has added some new features, such as Twitter and Facebook integration. More details via their official blog.
Update 2: Another company operating in this space is Kachingle.