Just saw this on Slashdot. Basically the idea is that you give them a certain amount of money each month which you then use to “flatter” Internet content that you like. By clicking on someone’s Flattr button the same way you would click on a Digg button, etc. you give that person a share of your monthly pot.
According to the video, “Flattr” is also a play on “Flat Rate” that is, you would spend the same amount of money each month. This means, you aren’t spending more if you click on more Flattr buttons. Since your pot or “cake” is split evenly between the people you Flattr, as long as you Flattr someone, the money goes somewhere. I’m not sure what happens if you don’t Flattr anyone???
While it seems like a good idea, and the domain name it great, I’m not sure there is any market for more “buttons”. They should probably try integrating this directly into Twitter, Digg, etc. so if someone retweets, they get a piece of the cake. There are already too many social networks as it is.
My guess is that there is no IP here keeping Digg or Twitter from offering this themselves and faster. In the end, whichever network can offer more from one place will win out of convenience.