August 21, 2009
When we evaluate why there’s been so much hype about payments on Twitter, and yet so little traction for us (and even far less for our competitors) it is clear to us that the reason is that a 3rd party payment service doesn’t add enough value. We strongly believe that social payments will work on a social network, provided that they’re done within the platform and not as a 3rd party. “Simple, social payments” is *the* philosophy needed to do digital payments right, but once a service groks that, they need only to implement it on their own. We’ve been the thought leaders in this space, we see the hype and excitement, and yet we know very intimately the difficulties in gaining actual traction. The only way to get around this is for the platforms themselves to control payments – then all people wanting to operate on that platform would have to play along. We believe that a payments system directly and officially integrated into social networks such as Twitter and Facebook will be a huge success.
It’s a shame really, the whole concept of making it easy for readers to show their appreciation by donating a little something easily is appealing. On the other hand, maybe this is proof that readers just won’t do that, and you need to create other incentives to make them send you some cash. Personally I also think that a PayPal donate button carries more weight and hence feels more secure for readers wanting to send the author some money, but I might be wrong. Either way, it’s a shame the concept didn’t work.
Hat tip: TechCrunch