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Adblock Plus will soon let you tip websites just by visiting them

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Flattr Plus

Adblock Plus will add a new feature this year that allows its users to automatically tip the websites they visit. Its intention is to "revolutionize web monetization" by getting rid of almost all ads and instead letting readers pay websites directly. Adblock will also keep some of the money for itself.

The new feature is being built in conjunction with Flattr, a service that lets users deposit money and then have that money distributed to websites. Any website that wants to participate has to sign up with Flattr. Flattr and Adblock will keep a combined 10 percent of all revenue passing through its system, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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Adblock Plus essentially views this feature as the solution to ads. The theory goes: Ads are bad, and people are totally willing to pay for content, so easily distributing money from readers to publishers will let ads die and make everyone happy.

There are some flaws in that logic, however. Ads may often be annoying, but they can pay at a scale that readers can't. Adblock Plus says its goal is to raise "raise a half billion dollars" for publishers in 2017 — which sounds nice, but a report from Adobe and PageFair found that ad blockers led to a loss of $22 billion in revenue during just the first seven months of 2015.

AdBlock Plus says its payment service, called Flattr Plus, will launch by the end of this year. It'll enter beta sometime this month and is already accepting signups at its website.

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