Back in October 2014, a new Facebook challenger emerged, this one with a view to giving creators a cut of ad revenue and sharing their profits amongst the user community. The new platform was called Tsu, and it quickly gained traction among artists and social media marketing types – in fact, Tsu surpassed 2 million users within three months of launch, spurred on by its invite-only application process and the promise of making it easier for people to monetize their social output.
As noted by Tsu’s founder Sebastian Sobczak:
“When you post a picture of your baby on [Facebook] and all your friends comment on it, Facebook is profiting on your content. Artists or entertainers who create content as a profession have to live by the same rules; Facebook retains all the value of the content.”
Tsu sought to correct this imbalance and provide a new way of thinking on social content.
Unfortunately, it hasn’t work out.
Today, on Tsu’s website, users were greeted with a message detailing their decision to shut down the platform.
As noted by TechCrunch, the decision’s not a huge surprise – in their efforts to provide more revenue generating opportunities for users, Tsu skirted Apple’s ban on pay-per-installs and got banned from Facebook for spamming due to their process of providing a cut of the revenue generated by content posted by people you refer to the site – which, in essence, incentivized users to share links to the site for financial reward (a no-no on Facebook). While the concept of giving users more ways to make money seems interesting in theory, in practice, it just opened the site up to more spammy activity, which is a door that, once opened, can be very difficult to shut.
But even with these challenges limiting the platform’s growth, Tsu claims to have had more than 5.2 million users sign up. Those aren’t active users, but the total number of people who logged in and checked it out – so there’s clearly some demand for such an offering in the market.
In reading through some of the comments and statements made by Sobczak and the Tsu team early on, it’s clear that they did have a vision for a platform that shares the rewards of social networking with users, as opposed to just building a money-making machine, but those ideals failed to resonate in widespread adoption, while their actual revenue-share processes became inevitably complex.
It’s the second social app this week to shut down, with group live-streaming app Blab also switching off earlier in the week.
Oh, also, if Tsu still owes you some money (if the amount owed is $100 or more), you need to e-mail them at [email protected] by August 31st to sort out your final dealings.