To allow users to be able to tip small amounts of money to the pages and people they like the most, Facebook is contemplating the addition of a a virtual “tip jar” service to the world’s largest social networking platform .
According to the Verge’s Casey Newton who were among the recipients of a survey that detailed the various options Facebook was considering, the Silicon Valley tech company is also considering several other such interesting and innovative proposals and options and which the company is consulting with users on.
A series of steps that can help lead to an increase in branded content on the timelines of users, Facebook also proposed a number of options for better monetising sponsored posts in addition to the introduction of a tip jar.
The several other options that Facebook is considering include a “call-to-action” button, allowing a post to have a single button to, say, “buy tickets” alongside the like button, revenue sharing from traditional Facebook ads in a manner that is similar to that already offered to publishers who post “Instant Articles” and the ability to embed a donate link which is similar to the tip jar but the only difference is that the cash so collected would be going to a charity of the page owner’s choice.
This is however not the first time and Facebook is no the first tech company to attempt to allow the ability to tip people and publications as it has been attempted multiple times on the internet earlier. One of the most notable attempts was made through start-up Flattr which allows users to set a monthly budget and distributed it through online tip jars. Thanks to the low transaction fees of the crypto-currency, it’s also a popular use of bitcoin.
However the chicken and egg problem have either derailed or dissuaded most attempts to date which have failed. The chicken and egg problem is related to the payment mechanism and the tip jar. Tech companies have failed to estimate which should be launched forst – the tip jar or a suitable payment mechanism. In the words of the tech companies – there’s no point setting up a tip jar if users don’t have the right payment mechanism, and there’s no point setting up the payment mechanism if websites don’t set up a tip jar.
Success of such an attempt has come through a site with dominance over a particular niche – wherever it has come. A sustainable ecosystem through users becoming subscribers to individual channels is a successful attempt that has been built by video game streaming site Twitch.
The sheer scale and size could help Facebook to be the first to pull off successful tipping online. The number of people and publishers for whom posting directly to Facebook makes financial sense could be increased if Facebook manages ot pull this one off. It could also provide an incentive for those who already post to Facebook to make it their primary platform.
(Adapted from theguardian.com)