Google Launches Crowdfunding Tool Contributor

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AP

Google is launching a new crowdfunding tool called Contributor with publishing partners such as Mashable, WikiHow and Science Daily. 

Right now the site is only available through a waiting list and is invite-only -- at least for now, according to GigaOm. Contributions are $1 to $3 a month and come from a user's Google account. Essentially it's kind of a subscription service for online publications. 

After a contribution, users will see a thank-you note from the publisher. A Google spokesperson called the project a way for publishers to "monetize their readership." 

While it's an interesting idea, there's no evidence to suggest that this may replace the paywall, or subscription price, for big news sites such as the New York Times. Still, in this era of digital publishing, every $1 contribution can help. 

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