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What is Web Monetization?

By Graeme
September 28, 2022

Readers shouldn’t have to stumble through paywalls and ads to read Prototypr. We’re building towards a return to the online days of yore, when design content and web development tutorials were untainted by intrusive ads, sneaky subscriptions, and pestiferous paywalls.

Web Monetization is an emerging browser standard that instead helps us open source information, in an open web, while supporting creators. After all, the goal of the very founding father of the internet, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, was to make it “a collaborative medium, a place where we [could] all meet and read and write”.

Web Monetization

It's all about making the web open. Paywalls, ads, and all the intrusive things ruining the web's user experience might be first to mind when faced with the word ‘monetization’. In contrast though, ‘Web Monetization’ does the opposite - it envisions a world where it’s possible for creators to get paid, whilst keeping the web accessible to all.

The term is exactly as it sounds, monetizing the web! But what that term doesn't explain is the fact that it's also protecting your privacy, protecting your data, saving your time, and also distributing payment seamlessly using open-protocol.

Thus it's an important highlight that the 'Web' in 'Web Monetization' is arguably the most important part – the technology's main purpose is to make the web more open, fair, and inclusive.

How does it work?

Web Monetization is a web browser API standard that allows users to stream micropayments (a fraction of a cent) to a creator’s wallet via the browser as they consume their content. The more time spent on a web page, the more micropayments streamed.

In short, WM is a big word for a simpler concept: a system that rewards creators for their work whilst facilitating a fairer, ad-free, open web.

Receiving micropayments for your content is done autonomously via ‘payment pointers’, a series of numbers and letters sometimes referred to as a ‘wallet URL’, that you can add to your Prototypr profile. Once added, when web-monetized readers visits your articles, micropayments will be streamed into your wallet: