The Interledger Community 🌱

Effect of Monetization Visibility on User Behavior - Report #1


Our team is curious about the use of webmonetization counters & visibility of the micropayments, effects of the transparency of the “monetization” on the user’s level of attention, interest, retention and sense of community.
In general, counters and trackers communicate:

  • how much money we pay (how much we are paid)
  • how much time we spend on a content
  • number of users watching/supporting the content

Initial questions

Should webmonetization remain frictionless and invisible?
How does the visibility of money/time/visitors affect the interaction?
How does it influence the willingness to join, pay, support, contribute?
Where/when should we use counters/trackers?
What else could counters communicate and make visible?
Should content creators show the micropayment counter and communicate how much money has been streamed to their content? Does showing how much money they’ve made of their content improve user retention and experience?


  • Study the effects of micropayment counter visibility.
  • UX challenges of sharing information of payment streams.
  • Improve the design and utilization of the webmonetization counters.
  • Define the future design challenges of interaction over micropayment counters & trackers.


We are keeping a diary of experiences with webmonetized counters and design ideas on how to use them. We also conducted first survey with non-Coil users exploring expectations surrounding paid content. We are using Mechanical Turk and Qualtrics to reach non-Coil public.
In this first phase we plan to interview micropayment users to map the experience and use of existing counters and trackers, also conduct surveys on how the visibility of various amounts on the counter influences the decision to support the content creator or join the community. If you have any feedback on this, please, contact us.

In the second phase, we want to conduct more focused experiments based on the surveys and interviews.
In the third, exploratory (speculative) phase, we will work with ideas for future counters supporting various UX ideas.

Preliminary ideas, new questions etc.

We are collecting different counters and trackers and we would like to know how/why people use them. We follow two: PayTracker, Akita.
How important is for the users to use counters, trackers, check their Coil extension, Uphold account etc.? What is the main motivation?
Frictionless design (invisibility) of webmonetization x possibility to tip and make more active decision on the distribution of the money in the pool?
Strange uses of counters beyond the QS tracking of how much time and money someone spends on various content X visibility of the counters supporting a sense of community, pool of data/money, distribution?

Top comments (6)

drsm79 profile image
Simon Metson

I’ve been umming and ahhing about putting xrptipbot buttons on pages. On the one hand it addresses the problem of coil not allowing people to pay more, on the other it’s quite clunky unless you are already in the ecosystem, and further in than a Coil user is by default. Your comments about invisibility struck a chord...

micopeia profile image
Rashon Massey • Edited

I literally just DM’ed Stefan Thomas on Twitter, wondering if it was possible to put a tipping feature in our web browsers extension drop down menu and/or tip in micropayments. By allowing users to have a bit more control over how those micropayments are distributed, Coil is empowering us all with having a bit more hands on say in how we want the payments shared with the content that we’re engaging with. Like - not everything in the vending machine is the same price, and some individuals may want to pay/stream/tip more for some content over others. How can we make sure they have this option? Either way - you and I are both seeing the value through empowering users to have more control with their spending in this ecosystem, without additional, clunky add ons or signups!

drsm79 profile image
Simon Metson

I think the thing with Coil is that they need to control the size of payments for their system to work/scale. Their product would be a lot more complex if you could subscribe at different levels, or tip.

I think that means it's another product (possibly from Coil, but could also see someone like Uphold, Mozilla, XRPL... doing it) to deliver on tips and/or user controlled payment rate. The flipside of that is that it results in a more complex user experience - you could do something today that hooked into an XRP wallet, but now I need users to create that etc. What's (very) nice about Coil is that it's not really about cryptocurrency from the user POV - I pay USD & get to pay the people I read/watch/listen to - neat!

Also, maybe (maybe...) larger payments are a ~solved problem. I can send you money via PayPal, I can support you via Patreon etc. Maybe that's a different thing?

nubunto profile image
Bruno Panuto

This is great and heavily interests both me and my project! I'll be watching this experiment carefully.

sam profile image

Same here!

denisakera profile image
Denisa Reshef Kera

We will use 4 relational models (community, authority, reciprocity, market) to check how they translate into counters, types of payment & communication, we tried to summarize this here...