Web

Google launches micropayments service for Web content

google wallet web content

Detailed on an official launch page for the product, Google quietly rolled out a new micropayments function for Google Wallet that allows site owners to charge small amounts of money for Web content. For instance, a site like Oxford Reference can charge between 25 to 99 cents for access to a single page of content. Within this live example, Oxford Reference offers the opening portion of the page for free. However, the code for Google Wallet is overlaying the remaining text with gray bars and blurring out the pictures until the reader pays 99 cents to view the remainder of the page.

Google Wallet explainedIn addition, the reader has the option of an immediate refund of the access fee if they feel the content wasn’t a worthwhile purchase. However, the reader has to apply for the refund within 30 minutes of the initial purchase and Google has setup a system to help curtail excessive refunds awarded to a specific user over time.

Once a reader has purchased the content, they have access to it forever. A record of the purchase is noted on the Google Wallet account and Google also offers an archive service to keep the content available to users if the site shuts down or goes offline for an extended period. While readers have to sign up for a Google Wallet account in order to pay for content, Google Wallet has been around for years and is commonly used by popular online retailers.

Interestingly, this micropayments barrier also ties into Google search rankings. Google will only look at the free preview content to rank the page, not the entire article. While this is designed to encourage site owners to give away a sizable amount of the article for free, it could also backfire on site owners that attempt to cover up too much content on a page. Site owners can also specifically choose portions of the page to blur or redact. However, advertising like banner ads are still visible and aren’t covered up by Google’s software. 

Google Wallet LogoGoogle hasn’t released any information regarding the company’s revenue cut of the micropayments processed through Google Wallet. Currently, Google is limiting the amount of organizations that try out the new feature to educational sites owned by Pearson and Oxford University Press. However, CNET indicates that Google has partnered with GigaOm and the Motley Fool as well.

After applying on this page, it’s likely that sites have to install a section of code on specific pages in order to outline portions of content that will require a micropayment. It’s likely that Google will create plug-ins for popular content management systems as well in order to facilitate a smooth launch process for site owners.

During the past two years, newspapers have attempted to solve the issue of declining print subscriptions with the installation of the online paywall. Hypothetically, a newspaper could use Google Wallet to charge for popular articles on a more granular level. It could also allow newspapers to take better advantage of Google search traffic by offering an increased amount of preview text compared to current online paywalls.

Computing

YouTube beats Apple, Netflix as the most trusted brand by millennials

The popular video sharing website YouTube climbed up in an annual Mblm study, moving up from third place in 2018 and coming ahead of both Apple and Netflix in final 2019 rankings. 
Gaming

You're never too broke to enjoy the best free-to-play games

Believe it or not, free-to-play games have evolved into engaging, enjoyable experiences. Here are a few of our favorites that you can play right now, including Warframe and the perennially popular League of Legends.
Computing

These 30 useful apps are absolutely essential for Mac lovers

There are literally hundreds of thousands of great software programs compatible with MacOS, but which should you download? Look no further than our list of the best Mac apps you can find.
Computing

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier today than ever, but choosing the right tool for the job isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our two favorite online tools.
Mobile

You can now get Google Fi SIM cards straight from Best Buy

Google's wireless service known as Project Fi, now goes by the name of Google Fi. The company also announced the service is now compatible with a majority of Android phones, as well as iPhones. Here's everything you need to know about…
Computing

Russia will ‘unplug’ from the internet as part of a cyber-defense test

Authorities across Russia are planning on unplugging the country from the global internet as part of a test of its cyber defenses. The disconnection will briefly keep all internet traffic inside the country.
Mobile

Is the 5G spectrum harmful to our health? Experts say, 'Don't freak out'

There's plenty of consumer anxiety about radiofrequency (RF) radiation, specifically around millimeter waves (mmWave) used on 5G networks, but is it based in reality? We asked the FDA to give us its official view on the subject.
Gaming

These are the coolest games you can play on your Google Chrome browser right now

Not only is Google Chrome a fantastic web browser, it's also a versatile gaming platform that you can access from just about anywhere. Here are a few of our favorite titles for the platform.
Web

Gmail adds lots of new functionality to its right-click menu

Right-click on an email in Gmail and the list of actions is pretty limited. That's about to change, though, as Google has just announced it's expanding the list of options to make its email client that little bit more useful.
Computing

Tired of paying a monthly fee for Word? The best Microsoft Office alternatives

Looking for a competent word processor that isn't Microsoft Word? Thankfully, the best alternatives to Microsoft Office offer robust features, expansive compatibility, and an all-too-familiar aesthetic. Here are our favorites.
Computing

File Transfer Protocol explained: What FTP is and what it does

FTP stands for "File Transfer Protocol," and it's used to transfer files online. Most internet users don't need it, but web developers use it constantly. Here's what FTP is, how it works, and how you can get started using it.
Computing

Lose the key for your favorite software? These handy tools can find it for you

Missing product keys getting you down? We've chosen some of the best software license and product key finders in existence, so you can locate and document your precious keys on your Windows or MacOS machine.
Computing

From beautiful to downright weird, check out these great dual-monitor wallpapers

Multitasking with two monitors doesn't necessarily mean you need to split your screens with two separate wallpapers. From beautiful to downright weird, here are our top sites for finding the best dual-monitor wallpapers for you.
Social Media

Instagram test reveals direct messages may be coming to browsers

Instagram for the web has always been a minimalist affair compared to the feature-rich smartphone app, but in the last few years that's started to change. The latest news is that Instagram is considering adding direct messages.