Would you take advantage of social post tipping as a reward for content you enjoy? One platform is giving users that very option.
I joined a new social media platform called Post a couple of weeks ago. It feels like a cross between Twitter and Instagram. Its creator set out to build a platform where discussions remain civil and trolls get shown the door. As I said in my initial impressions of the service, good luck with that! One thing I didn’t really mention, at least not directly, was the notion of social media tipping.
Post users have the option to “leave a tip” on any post that they like. Over at Post’s FAQ page, Andrew Zalik answers an obvious question: Why would you tip someone? He says this in response:
Tips not only show your appreciation and support for content creators but also help keep independent journalism in business.
That “independent journalism” part was something I did hit on in my last post about Post. I said that publishers would be able to charge readers for full access to individual articles. A handful of big-name publishers like USA Today and NBC News have already signed up. I haven’t noticed NBC News asking for “tips” to read their content, but I’m pretty sure I have seen USA Today make such a request.
In fact, here’s an example of one of USA Today’s posts with a pay button. Note the little black button right above the image: “Read for 1 pt.” Here’s an example from the FAQ page showing a Reuters article asking for five points to unlock the paywall.
A point refers to Post’s social media tipping.
It won’t come as a surprise that in this day and age, a major publisher might set up a paywall if the option is there.
But Post allows anyone — as far as I can tell — to require payment. You set the number of points you require to “unlock” the post so your visitors can read it in its entirety. The only requirement to set a paywall is that a post must be at least 280 characters. That makes sense; Who’d want to pay for a post shorter than that?
The next obvious question is, “How much is a point worth?”
They do have a monetary value. Users can cash out their points once their Post Point balance reaches at least $50. But if you’re holding your breath for that windfall, you might want to think twice.
Post explains that it will cash out Post Points at a rate of one cent per point. Yep…1¢ per point.
So USA Today wants you to contribute a penny to read their story. Reuters wants a whopping nickel. How greedy of them!
What’s a fair price? That, Post says, is really for the user to decide.
“As we continue to grow the community, we expect our users to develop norms and their preferences around tipping and supporting fellow users,” Greg Post writes. “We hope each Post user will get to use tips, if they choose, to show creators the gratitude and support they feel fit!”
Post even gives new users 50 points to start with. That way, they can tip posts the value as a show of support without actually having to spend a dime — or a penny. As the community grows, I’m sure they’re hoping people will embrace the idea and buy points beyond those 50 freebies.
So that brings me to my exciting news!
I just received my first tip on Post. Yes, a post I made the other day actually prompted someone to tip me a point. If I continue at this rate, I’ll have earned my first dollar to frame on my wall by 2027. Of course, since I’d have to wait until I had a balance of at least $50 in points, we’d be looking at 2076 before I’d be able to frame that first dollar…and that’s assuming I make it to my 107th birthday.
Still, it was flattering to find that someone actually offered that point.
I don’t see it as trivial. I do see it as a gesture of appreciation. Sometimes, it’s the small gestures that speak much louder than the bigger ones, right?
So far, Post has lived up to its claims of being a much more friendly community. And I have seen diverse ideas from both sides of the political spectrum presented. It’s just that on Post — at least so far — users seem to act like they have had some home training.
I’m looking forward to seeing what Post is able to accomplish. I don’t plan on leaving any other social platform at the moment. But Post, though still in its very early stages, seem to have a lot of potential.
If you decide to give it a try, you can find me there with the same username I use on Twitter: patricksplace.