“We built a service where Twitter users could pick out and ‘like’ content, we collected this information and used it to forward payment to them. But Twitter got in contact to tell us it was against their user terms,” Flattr CEO Linus Olsson told The Local.
The tool used the favourites function on Twitter in order for users to “flattr” a tweet (contributed money from their Flattr account) and it this that prompted Twitter to react.
“Your advertisements cannot resemble or reasonably be confused by users as a Tweet. For example, ads cannot have Tweet actions like follow, retweet, favourite, and reply,” the firm wrote, according to a Flattr statement.
Twitter furthermore reacted to the fact that 10 percent of the sum donated was collected by Flattr, stating that “you cannot sell or receive compensation for Tweet actions or the placement of Tweet actions on your service”.
In an attempt to meet Twitter’s terms and conditions, Flattr suggested that they forego their commission, meaning that the recipient would gain the entire sum donated.
This was however not sufficient to appease the US firm who who held their ground, forcing Flattr to admit defeat and discontinue their service.
“We didn’t agree and we tried to discuss with them, but we didn’t get anywhere and have had to take down the service,” Linus Olsson told The Local.
Operating out of Limhamn in Malmö, Flattr was launched by The Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde in 2010.
The firm, named both for flattering someone and a flat-rate payment model, offers a service to users willing to donate amounts from as little as $0.01.
The website gained media attention in late 2010 as it remained one of the sole remaining online financial lifelines for whistleblower website WikiLeaks, following the shutting down of PayPal donations.
Peter Vinthagen Simpson