This is not something that could actually help 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!

@valiant @Gargron it could be done with an API that has to be implemented by payment processor or some intermediary service

@Gargron I think using separately to fund a server is the best way for the time being. As far as anything better than that goes... I could only imagine a plugin for donations which server admins can install into their instance.

@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 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.


I don't think I'd use it for more than a "hey this user supports!" 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...

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 Doesn't sound like a good idea to me. I can see how it might help financially, but builtin monetization could easily lead to an unfair system and harm the good idea is built on.

@Gargron Like I said, what I strongly believe would have helped is having full account support. Everyone on will be losing their existing posts and activity forever, as they can download them but can't upload them to another server. If it was possible to implement a mechanism for syncing posts in between linked accounts, most users would have likely felt no difference.

@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


Like a "mastodon gold account"?

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


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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