What you need to know
- Google was testing a tipping feature for sites as part of an extension to its Google Funding Choices and Contributor services.
- The feature would have let users donate from 20 cents to up to $5 to sites ranging from large organizations to small independent artists.
- The company eventually decided not to continue developing this feature.
Google was working on a new tipping feature for websites as part of an extension of the now-defunct Google Contributor service. The company would have allowed users to make one-time donations ranging from 20 cents to $5 to support creators. This would have ranged from big corporations like the New York Times to sites owned by independent musicians and artists.
The goal of the new service was to encourage users to donate money and reward sites and their creators for making content they enjoyed.
In response to this story, Google gave TechCrunch the following statement:
It's interesting to think about a world where Google offered a Patreon-like feature for creators. Critics of traditional funding choices like ads often point to the intrusiveness and disruptiveness of the format, while paywalls are often criticized for contributing to subscription fatigue.
It's unclear whether Google's effort would have resulted in a significant market shift, but this is likely one of those situations where the right answer will only become visible in hindsight.
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