Flattr is interested in using twitter for its micropayments platform. I didn’t have time to write a short tweet, so I’ll write a long post on tumblr instead.
- Twitter syndication is usually about user acquisition. You tell your followers that this web service is cool, and they use it. It might be a fine way for flattr to acquire merchants and payers for transactions off of twitter
- Most people don’t really understand the scale of payments. They get excited about P2P but those payments don’t matter. Roughly speaking, think of commerce as two orders of magnitude more common than transactions to non-profits. Similarly non-profits are an order of magnitude more common than P2P transactions.
- Twitter is an inappropriate platform for direct commerce. It is an information network. What you’ve purchased can be syndicated to twitter, but a tweet shouldn’t be the purchase. There is nothing stopping paypal from allowing you to tweet your transactions. Too bad they are incapable of understanding social media.
- Flattr has a good edge on most micropayment systems because they have part of the problem solved in ready access to a good network for merchants. But, they are monetizing content that people don’t currently pay for, making it really hard to succeed. Merchant acquisition is the hardest part about making a payments platform.
- The article discussed a payments system on twitter and didn’t mention Tipjoy (or twipay.me or tipit.to or venmo or twippr or …).
That is kind of incompetent, Mathew Ingram!But they just posted an update linking to this post. Thanks :)
- [BONUS since getting linked]. Kickstarter was mentioned on twitter in response to this post. Kickstarter is awesome but not a payments system. I think of them like an Etsy with pre-billing, but biased towards art, media, and tech instead of handmade goods. Would you use Kickstarter to power the payments of your mp3 music startup? Nope. It’s not a payments company.