There’s a new kid on the block in the social network neighborhood called Tsū, and while it may look like Facebook, it has one big difference: it wants to share its advertising profits with its users.
Unlike Facebook, which gobbles up all of the ad revenue that your personal information creates, Tsū (pronounced “sue”) only takes 10 percent of generated ad revenue and gives 90 percent back to its users. The way it works is that the more organic post-views you have within a 24-hour period, the more money you earn.
For instance, if you upload a video to Tsū of your friend Steve shooting milk out of his nose because he’s laughing at a funny joke that your other friend Sally told, and that video gets hundreds or thousands of views, you’ll earn a share of the ad revenue that your content generates. What this means is simply that Tsū is willing to pay you for your posts.
This obviously works to the advantage of celebrities, whose content millions are eager to access, but smaller pieces of the revenue pie can also go to users who invite friends to Tsū. Not only does a personal post-view generate revenue, but when your friends share interesting content, you win, too.
The ad revenue and commodity sharing that makes social media tick can seem complicated to anyone without an economics degree, but Tsū’s “rule of infinite thirds” is a fairly straightforward process: When you share a video that receives several hundred views, you earn a slice of revenue pie (after Tsu takes their initial cut, of course). But the friend who invited you also wins, because they get one third of your slice. The friend who invited them, in turn, gets one third of your friend’s third, and so forth, and so on, ad infinitum.
Sebastian Sobczak, one of Tsū’s co-founders, says that social networks like Facebook have been functioning like radio stations that will play the song that you’ve created (i.e. social media content), but refuse to give you any payment for that content.
“If you contrast the established networks today, they’re like radio stations playing everybody’s song and not giving them any royalties for their work,” he said. “It’s very unusual that all these amazing [users] provide this free content that is very valuable to them and is a hundred percent monetized.”
Whether or not Tsū can change the social network landscape remains to be seen. Other network newcomers like Ello have received criticism over their inability to make a dent in the Facebook empire, despite several big changes in things like cleaner user interfaces and different privacy clauses. What Tsū has going for it that other networks do not is the ability to pay its users for their involvement. Only time will tell whether or not enough people want to get involved.
Launched in October of 2014, Tsū was founded a year earlier by Sobczak, Drew Ginsburg, Thibault Boullenger, and Jonathan Lewin in New York City. The company raised its funding from Sancus Capital Privé and other unnamed investors.given a cool $7 million from several investors, including a generous contribution by Sancus Capital Prive.