Google is developing a micropayment platform that will be “available to both Google and non-Google properties within the next year,” according to a document the company submitted to the Newspaper Association of America. The system, an extension of Google Checkout, would be a new and unexpected option for the news industry as it considers how to charge for content online.
The revelation comes in an eight-page response to the NAA’s request for paid-content proposals, which it extended to several major technology companies and startups.
And from Google:
For us, search has always been our focus. And, starting today, you’ll notice on our homepage and on our search results pages, our search box is growing in size. Although this is a very simple idea and an even simpler change, we’re excited about it — because it symbolizes our focus on search and because it makes our clean, minimalist homepage even easier and more fun to use.
Well, if I were Facebook or eBay/Paypal, I’d be concerned about any payment system from Google, no matter how early stage. And the larger search bar, well, just seems to make sense. Search queries are getting longer, for one, and we’re all getting older, for another – the text is now bigger as well. (OK, maybe it’s just me getting older…)
5 thoughts on “Google News: A Payment System and A New Search Bar”
The extended, or larger search box, makes a lot of sense. I forget the exact figures, but the average amount of words in search phrases continues to increase.
There is a lot of potential for Micropayments and they will become very powerful once Google put their weight behind the payment format. In my opinion, I don’t think the microformat will help “big media” as much as it will other emerging online industries.
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The difference between free and paid is substantial, even if the price is minimal. Making the decision to pay — just weighing whether to do it — carries a higher toll than the value of whatever the micropayment is intended for. Therefore the impact of micropayments on media consumption on the Web will be minimal, and subscription model will be far more common.
Google checkout has not gained traction and in fact has declined since they ceased offering free transactions with adwords and raised their prices in May.
I don’t think this micropayments platform will fare much better either – payments are just not something Google has expertise. Why don’t they just acquire a company that DOES have payments expertise like Cybersource or take a large share and then integrate to fill their strategic objectives?
My .02 cents
I am a vendor who uses Google Checkout as one of my primary forms of accepting payment. It has its positives, but overall, I’m not overly impressed. They did “hook” me with the adwords credits they used to offer to offset the fees, but once I have time to make some changes…I might move to a better system…I do agree with Robb. It would make sense from them to buy a company that already knows what people like me need in a merchant account.