“Flattring”, (yes, that is spelt correctly) is a form of donation, much like Paypal, that allows people to share money in a gesture of appreciation. Some of you may be familiar with the service, but if you’re not…
Flattr was founded in 2010. The reasoning behind it was that Paypal would mercilessly extract transaction costs from anyone trying to make a donation, and sending a small sum of money became “a pain in the ass”. This kind of needless bureaucracy discouraged many people from making donations to developers and the like. The best example is Flattr’s integration with Instacast. A podcast service for iOS. The marriage took place in February, and enabled users of Instacast to Flattr podcasts they were listening to in a show of appreciation, rather than visiting a website via Safari. It offered a quick, simple way to donate money, without hassle, or a transaction charge. You pick how much you’d like to spend per month, and then whenever you see a Flattr button on a piece of content you like, click it. At the end of the month Flattr distributes your prearranged amount between all the content you’ve clicked on, simple right?
So what happened? Well, on May 6, Apple rejected an update to Instacast. According to their App Store guidelines:
The collection of donations must be done via a web site in Safari or an SMS
Apple have since contacted the developers of Instacast, suggesting that they force users to Flattr through a web browser. According to FlattrBlog, this is not the way to go.
”While technically doable it’s a big step back for the user experience, kills the auto-flattr feature and would reduce the number of flattrs happening.
It appears that Apple have needlessly shunned micropayments integrated within apps in favour of a process that takes up much more time, yet still achieves the same result. Apple holds that this is something that happens in a variety of other iOS apps, so we should just accept it. Do Apple have any legitimate grounds to reject such a service? Or are there any workable alternatives? Leave your comments below, and be sure to follow me on Twitter for all the latest Apple news, reviews and rumors.