Google Launches Crowdfunding Tool Contributor | NBC Southern California
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Google Launches Crowdfunding Tool Contributor

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    FILE- In this April 17, 2007 file photo, exhibitors of the Google company work on laptop computers in front of an illuminated sign of the Google logo at the industrial fair Hannover Messe in Hanover, Germany. Google is starting to accept requests from Europeans who want to erase unflattering information from the results produced by the world's dominant search engine. The demands can be submitted on a Web page that Google opened late Thursday, May 29, 2014, in response to a landmark ruling issued two weeks ago by Europe's highest court. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer, File)

    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.