The sudden growth in social media use has also seen an exponential increase in wealth for those people who originally developed the sites. However some people have raised the question if the members are the ones supplying all the material and content shouldn’t they receive a share of the profit?
One social media site that claims to offer that to its members is tsu (pronounced sue). It will pay you to share original content on its site, and will also reward you financially if you recruit new members.
In order for this to happen the site is closed and membership is by invite only. You can access the site through this link tsu invite . Membership is free but the payment structure requires that each new member is linked to an existing member, who then becomes part of their family tree.
Background of Tsu
The Tsu social media site was created by the company Evacuation Complete in the US and was formally launched in October 2014. Since then its membership has grown to an estimated 2 million users as of January 2015 and ranks second only to Facebook as the top social media site.
According to one of its founders Sebastian Sobczak, the inspiration for the site came after a former US Athlete took the National Collegiate Athletic Association to court for refusing to allow student athletes to make money from their own images.
Democratization of Art
One of the sayings that has been attributed to Tsu is from the CEO who says that through platforms such as Tsu easy art creation has opened up the art world for everyone.
"One good thing that has come out of easy content creation is that it has truly democratised art" - Sebastian Sobczak
Tsu is therefore not just a social media site, but it is a revolution in acknowledging artistic property rights. But can this idealistic social project still deliver to its members what they want from a social sharing platform, and how does all this affect me when I join?
What happens when you are on the site?
It looks pretty much like any other site, in that there is a feed that is personalised for you depending upon your followers and interests. You can search the site using # of any of your favourite interests or hobbies.
There is also an analytics panel which is useful and easy to use as shown below. It gives a breakdown of views, likes and comments.
Payment on Tsu
The main reason that Tsu is invite only is due to the structure of the payment model. The diagram below shows how money is made by one individual, here David who receives 50%. The remaining revenue is then divided amongst the person that recruited him (33%), and the person who recruited them etc. In total 90% of the revenue is divided amongst members and the site retains 10%.
What do Others Think of Tsu?
Many of the larger marketing companies are now aware of Tsu and starting to report on its growth. This article by Hootsuite compares Tsu to other paid social media sites such as Bubblews (which has recently closed due to the changes in the display advertising sector) and Bonzo Me which also share ad revenues or pay members for their content.
Ultimately Tsu is a new site and its approach is different. However its ultimate test will be if it can retain members and encourage them to keep engaging and using the platform.
Advantages of the Site
Despite it’s newness there are a number of advantages to being part of a new social media system.
- Because it’s a new site there a a lot of new people joining at the moment and are enthusiastic to try it out.
- in order for people to make money through it they have to be regular users. This can be an advantage as you build up a dedicated following.
- Like many social media sites it has a strong image focus so any blog articles or posts will be noticed better if an image is attached.
- It uses a hashtag system so you can target the type of people you want to see your post, which is useful if you are posting both business and personal interests.
- You can see which types of posts and images are receiving a response through the analytics, which can be interesting to com are or inform how you use your other social media sites.
Disadvantages of the site
As with anything in life it is not without some drawbacks or difficulties. The main ones that I have found from using it so far are;
- Despite offering to share profits you aren’t going to make much money on it, payments are very small. However it is a nice motivation tool.
- Finding your way around the site takes a bit of getting used to, there are Tsu tutorials lying around but you need to #tsu and join the tsu support group.
- Finding followed and friends can also be a bit tricky because you need to follow hash tags and like all other sites, you ned to start engaging with content and liking other people’s work before you really start to develop any sort of following.
Future of Tsu Model
According to an article written in the NewYork Times social network sites such as Facebook are making billions of dollars in profit. This profit is generated off the back of users creating and sharing content, to which they have no commercial right. Social networks such as Tsu are therefore not just commercial entities seeking to challenge other social media sites, they are seeking to revolutionise the way in which intellectual property rights are acknowledged.
Other more cynical viewers might argue that in fact this is just other people trying to exploit entrepreneurs, who have after all invested their own time and resources into developing such platforms. Either way there is a continual discussion about creative rights and the appropriate acknowledgement and reimbursement that artists should receive for their work.
The only way to really know about anything is to try it out for yourself and actively use the social media platform. If nothing else there is still a significant audience associated with the site and for anyone seeking to promote a product or have a test audience this could be another potential source of customs and revenue.
Remember you need a Tsu Invite link to join and if you already a member look me up and follow, I always follow back http://www.tsu.co/IrishWriter2015