Flattr opens beta of its micropayment platform

Platform allows users to share from €2 with content creators they like

Swedish company Flattr has opened up the beta-test version of its social micropayment platform to everyone, the company said in a blog post on Thursday

Until now an invitation was needed to use the service.

Flatter was founded by Peter Sunde, the former spokesman for Pirate Bay, a file-sharing site that the entertainment industry is trying to shut down, and one of four people being prosecuted in Sweden for their involvement with the site.

The company's goal is to make it easier for users to pay for content, and for content creators -- including bloggers, musicians, photographers and programmers -- to make money on the Web. Recently, WikiLeaks started using the platform, which Flattr "couldn't be more happy about it," it said last week.

The name is a combination of flat-rate and flatter. Content creators can add a Flattr button to their website, and users can then push the button if they want to reward the content creator. The button also includes a counter to show how many people have pushed it, and given money.

Users create an account and decide an amount they would like to give every month, €2 (US$2.56) is the mandated minimum. At the end of every month, that amount is shared equally among the owners of the buttons the user has pushed.

Flattr is integrated with Twitter and Facebook, so users can, for example, let friends and followers know who they have donated money to.

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