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This is not something that could actually help friends.nico survive, but the thought is inspired by their situation:

Would there be demand for an optional "paid accounts" mode for Mastodon servers? For future consideration

Some servers today require Patreon or OpenCollective membership to sign up on, or integrate a Stripe button (but not very well). The above idea would basically formalize those use cases.

@Gargron i don't think it should be formalized. requiring external payment is fine for those use cases.

@Gargron the only issue with this is all payments are typically centralised. If you do go down this route, have you considered to incorporate the option for crypto currencies along side it? This would be useful for hidden services that use Mastodon & require donations to stay alive!

@Gargron I dunno if tying payments to accounts necessarily makes the most sense, but an ability to make recurring donations every month to an instance would be absolutely wonderful, and a way to streamline that to have relatively little friction would probably help a lot.

@Gargron it's the second already, should have posted it earlier

@Gargron I could see it working. I would love a similar feature as well. Perhaps giving users who support the instance a different colour name (chosen by admins) or a star on their profile.

I would use it for users who have given one time donations since i use ko-fi.

@TheKinrar It is a community policy based decision, from what they've told me

@TheKinrar Yes, I do not fully understand it. At first I was told Dwango wasn't doing well financially and friends.nico was a big cost sink without contributing back to their main business. That, I can understand. But when I suggested ways to decrease their costs, they said that would not help reverse course.

@Gargron

I don't think I'd use it for more than a "hey this user supports dragon.style!" kind of badge but yeah, that'd be nice to have.

Bonus for Patreon integration though I do have one user who's been generous but has Issues with Patreon...

@Gargron
Would Mastadon care that an account is paid, or is it just that some third-party has verified the account as "special"?
Doesn't matter how or why they're considered special - they could have donated money, or they could be a member of an organisation (eg. School)

@rolaveric It's not about account status but account existence. Pay to sign up instead of free sign up.

@Gargron Yes, but would it actually be easier for small instances than just use patreon or whatever?

@Gargron it would be great to have a low friction way to transfer money on mastodon, whether that is to tip the admin or buy something from another person…obviously this would involve integrating with a proprietary processor 😔

@kai it wouldn't have to - it could proxy out the action to a third party (kinda like how Libreapay does it). @Gargron

@Gargron I think it’s a good idea but I feel like there might be a lot to it. Would it support one-off payments to register, ongoing subscriptions, or both? Could you mix free and paid accounts and have paid accounts highlighted somehow?

@Gargron Consider doing it as a plugin, so that other financing options could use the same interfaces to your main body of code.

@Gargron If it helps Mastodon survive, I think is a neat idea. I don't know if an associated patreon would be the best course of action, but sounds the most frictionless way

@Gargron it depends on what paid accounts can do but sounds good for tiny instance admins

@zatta No, not like a special type of account. Pay-to-sign-up

@Gargron I think so, yes! The instances could also make it optional and show an "instance supporter" icon in those user's profiles, for example. This could really help with small instances.

@Gargron maybe a generic “signup authorisation” API would be useful? Then admins could integrate it with whatever payment or subscription method they choose.

@Gargron I have been considering adding supporter badges on profiles for our Patreon members. I was just going to do this on our own fork, but would be nice to see something like this upstream

@Gargron

Like a "mastodon gold account"?

Well, it would be cool if you could intergrate it with differnet plattforms like @Liberapay

@Gargron

Personally, the "pay-to-signup" idea is nothing I am fond of. I would rather see a "supporter badge" as suggested by @brunoph &

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