Written by Anthony Capote
A new online social medium is attempting to break the mold by paying—yes-paying—users for their content.
Tsū is a website that officially launched in October and pays users based on how many “views” they get on their site.
Views are “how many times people view your posts,” said Chris Pasternak, who joined the site a little over a week ago.
In order to get more information on the subject, I decided to join Tsū and investigate their claims.
Anyone who remembers the earliest days of MySpace, Facebook and Twitter, can recall getting friends and likes within seconds of registration and Tsū embodies that old tradition.
The site, which is clearly still in its infancy, generates activity almost as soon as a member joins. Within just a few minutes I found my self with six followers and a few friends.
The site, which seems like a Twitter-Facebook brainchild, differentiates between followers and friends based on whether or not they can add content to a users page.
According to the site, friends can see a users “Public and Friends Only posts,” whereas followers can only see public posts.
Tsū does not yet have private or restricted settings available.
While using Tsū I stumbled across several users from other countries (mainly in the Middle East), as well as Pasternak, from Pittsburgh.
“It’s filled with positivity,” Pasternak said, “I find it to be much more productive than Facebook.”
In my almost one week on Tsū I’ve made $0.01, Pasternak made $0.04 in the same amount of time.
How the money is generated to pay users is left vague on the site’s help and question pages, and many users I spoke with didn’t know either.
Sebastian Sobczak, the site’s creator, told the New York Times that Tsū spreads 90% of ad revenues back towards the users, only keeping 10% for itself.
The concept, Sobczak says, is simple: users on the Internet should be paid for the content they generate.
In order to assure that no one abuses the system, Tsū has set in place several guidelines, which users have to agree to several times before using certain areas of the site.
“Spammers will not be tolerated,” reads the guideline atop the screen of the “Bank Page,” which tells users how to cash in their earnings, once they reach $100.
According to the site, anyone who is reported or monitored to be using a campaign to get more followers or likes by creating meaningless content will be labeled a spammer and “banned” from the site.
Tsū tries to honestly compensate users, who since the rise of the Internet age have been labeled “prosumers”—people who both produce and consume content—, by marketers.
Tsū recognizes how difficult it is make sure that the users are honest too, in order to be sure, the site is supposed to be invite-only.
However, when I joined I simply went to Sobczak’s page, which apparently meant that the “invite code” is just a user’s U.R.L. Therefore, by knowing any user’s U.R.L., you may consider yourself invited to make a page.
Tsū has other limitations, such as only being able to follow 1000 people and creating 36 posts per 24-hour cycle.
“I do think it’s possible to make money,” said Pasternak, “I was invited by a friend who is very enthusiastic, he made $8 after a week on here.”