ChangeTip Integrates Slack, a New Use Case for Micropayments?

At the start of the New Year, we reported that ChangeTip was adding Facebook and Slack integration. The Facebook integration was already there for some users, but Slack had not yet been rolled out to the public.

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ChangeTip Integrates Slack, a New Use Case for Micropayments?

At the start of the New Year, we reported that ChangeTip was adding Facebook and Slack integration.  The Facebook integration was already there for some users, but Slack had not yet been rolled out to the public.

Now, it is. Slack is a collaborative work platform with social elements that takes itself less seriously than other work productivity apps. It functions a bit like a message board with healthy doses of Google Drive, Facebook and Github and is the fasting growing work productivity app of all time.

The idea of adding Slack integration is an interesting one. Generally, micropayments are thought of as something that will facilitate commerce between content creators and content consumers. Slack integration is an experiment on whether if tipping can be useful in another way, between collaborators and colleagues.

Slack logo

At first glance, one would think the answer is no. People go to work to make money, not give it away. But that discounts the amount of money flowing around a typical physical workplace at any given time. Co-workers lend money to each other, take up collections for sick colleagues, have secret Santa events, throw birthday parties, retirement parties, work anniversary parties, etc. There are fantasy football leagues and March Madness tournaments, friendly bets and shared lunches.

A lot of those things can only be done in a physical work office. People aren't likely to share lunch online and no one is going to donate to a party if there isn't any cake for or even a central gathering. But many of those examples, like fantasy football league dues or collections for a sick colleague, work just as well online as they do in the physical space.

Besides, Slack isn't only used by companies that exist entirely online. It is also used by workaholic-types who take their work home. In that case, paying back a co-worker for lunch or taking up a collection for a party could be done with less effort and friction using ChangeTip than with a Credit Card or Paypal. Even with cash, someone still needs to spend an hour walking through the office begging for singles like a past-her-prime stripper. ChangeTip users could get a company-wide donation going with one post on the company's Slack page.

But this isn't exactly how ChangeTip foresees itself being used on Slack. They predict that it will be used in more silly ways, tipping colleagues who post something funny or interesting (the Slack equivalent of the guy with funny comics on the outside of his cubicle) and they could very well be correct.

Being quoted in ChangeTip's press release, Adam Ludwin, the CEO of Chains, explained how Slack and ChangeTip have been working for them so far:

“Slack is our operational command center, but also our social hub where we support and encourage one another, often with funny images, gifs, emojis, and the like.  So, using the ChangeTip integration to tip each other cookies, high fives, and espresso shots fit in quite naturally.”

An interesting idea proposed by ChangeTip in its press release is tipping customers who find bugs in software. Keeping beta testers interested over a long project is a challenge, and there are several guides online suggesting to beta managers on exactly how to do that. Bitcoin seems like something more interesting than a gift card or a few dollars worth of in-game cash.

ChangeTip integration does need to be turned on by the Slack board administrator, which is sort of a bummer, but set-up doesn't appear difficult as Git claims it can be done in 94 seconds.

Micropayments and remittance are the two applications that many predicted would be Bitcoin's next killer use case. But remittance requires infrastructure and bank integration in multiple regions for each country. Meanwhile, micropayments can be realized with what we already have. We just need the tools to help us bring the Bitcoin faithful to the uninitiated masses online.

ChangeTip seems to be doing that, one social network at a time. I can't think of an easier way to reach people.


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