Google wallet have “begun an experiment to help content creators bring more high-quality content to the web”. In essence online-writers will be able to charge for their content. Users will pay with only a single click.
There’s a reason news websites aren’t making money from selling their stories, and that’s ease of use. Users zip from one site to the next; they don’t want to enter their bank details for every site they visit. That’s why I was dubious of this new product from Google, until I read that users will be able to pay for articles with one click.
But not only that, just like Google Play (the platform Google uses to sell Android apps, movies, books and music), users will be able to get a refund immediately after their purchase if they decide the product wasn’t what they were expecting.
This is great news for both content creators and readers. Writers will be able to actually earn money for their work and users will inevitably receive better quality writing since writers will be pressured into working for their money. Will this be the end to catchy but unrelated headlines designed purely to get the traffic for ads?
But if you’re planning to get a refund on every article you read you’re not in luck – Google has expected you’d do this and will monitor the amount of refunds you ask for and whether or not you’re likely to dislike it.
The UX is lovely. The user will be able to read the first few paragraphs, but after scrolling further Google will obfuscate text and images and pop up a dialogue asking the user to pay. Everything is done without a page load – even logging in. After payment, which takes less than 15 seconds, the rest of the content will be de-obfuscated.
I’m really excited by this. If media like New Scientist adopts the payment system there is no doubt I’ll be using it.