"Web Monetization" in this context is not the process of adding a paywall to some content on the web. Although it does that too, it refers to the tech that allows for sending micropayments to a "wallet".
It is an early tech and is the focus of Grant for the Web. They fund projects to know what can be built using web monetization. They fund different types of creators like: webdevs, game developers, bloggers, photographers, musicians, journalists, filmmakers, writers, podcasters, software developers, and more. People who want to experiment with new tech for a more open and private web.
How does it work?
The way websites/platforms etc. make money on the web is through advertising. Theres nothing wrong with advertising until all your behaviour on the web is being tracked. Maybe it is harmless if it's used only for advertising. But companies collect and sell your data. What it will be used for? We have no clue. But it will be a disaster if it gets to the wrong hands.
Web Monetization is a way to prevent that, it is a way to monetize content while maintaining user's privacy, an alternative to invasive advertising.
Websites offer a 'premium' experience for paying users. There are different ways web monetization can be used on a website. For web monetized users, a website could remove all adverisements, load a better font, night mode, better styling, or a combination of those and more. When the payment has started, a micropayment stream to the creator's wallet will also start.
In practice, there are these parts:
For consumers (if you only want to have access to 'premium' content)
- A coil subscription
- Coil manages the micropayment stream to the creator's wallet.
For creators (for those intending to provide webmonetized content)
- A payment pointer. You can get this from
uphold or other wallet providers.
- Payment pointers are used by coil to know where the funds will go.
With coil set up, you can view premium content from webmonetized websites even without creating an account on them!!
To offer webmonetized content, have your own website then add your payment
pointer in a
<meta> tag and that's it, your website is webmonetized. But if
you want to get fancy, you can modify your website to only show exclusive
content if webmonetization is enabled. That will take more effort to do and you
can do it with this guide.
The other option is to use a webmonetized platform like xali. Create an account, add your payment pointer to your profile, then you're done. The fancy magical stuff is handled for you to focus on making art.
Confused? Here are some comparisons
Subscribing to coil is like subscibing to spotify. When you have a subscription on spotify, you don't get ads. Subscribing to coil is similar that you won't get ads on web monetized websites. But not restricted to only one website.
It's also like becoming a patron of a creator on patreon. When you become a patreon, you get access to exclusive posts. With a coil subscription, you could have access to exclusive content if a web monetized website offers them. But you are not restricted to one creator, you have access to all web monetized creators!
It's better to experience it yourself to really understand what web monetization is about!