Archive for Anand R

Social network Tsu attracts explosive growth but also critics. Here’s why….


Tsu, a social network that pays its users for Content they create & share, is attracting the kind of growth that should make the social media giants sit up & take notice.

Just 74 days after its launch in Oct 2014, Tsu announced that it had crossed 2 million users. It’s not surprising that people would prefer to be paid for something they do for free on other social networks.

But Tsu, as they said during launch, is not trying to build its user base by taking people away from other social networks. On the contrary…..they have offered to help share, promote & monetize Content which people are posting on other social networks.

For example, if you post a video on Youtube, you can then head over to Tsu & try to share it as wide as you can & get paid for this engagement from Tsu. You also benefit by referring more people to Tsu.

This kind of a business model was bound to be a hit, but the surprising thing is not just that it’s attracting large numbers of users but the kind of users signing up.

This model seems to have stuck a chord among artists who are now flocking to Tsu, hoping to get paid for Content which doesn’t earn them anything on other social networks. Artists & music industry bigwigs on Tsu include 50 Cent, Russel Simmons & Timbaland, among others.

The main draw also is that Tsu pays cash to its users instead of virtual currency or points or something like that. The cash is paid from ad revenues, & Tsu keeps only 10%.

Hitting a million users in a couple of months & doubling it to more than 2 million in 2.5 months attracts all kinds of attention – from both advertisers & critics.

Tsu’s advertising platform now offers app install ads on smartphones which has attracted large brands like Taco Bell & Pandora, & also Twitter.

This attracted a detailed look from TechCrunch about how Tsu is getting past Apple’s ban on “incentivized” app installs.

Paying or rewarding people to download apps causes the app to start climbing on the App Store’s Top Charts. That in turn attracts a flood of new downloads & buzz that makes the app in question an overnight success. Apple has banned this ability to buy your way into overnight app stardom, so to speak.

But developers can list app install ads on Tsu. Users are technically being paid for creating content & attracting users to it, & not for the app install ads shown next to the content.

It’s a bit of a murky area, but the TechCrunch article notes that people on Tsu are more likely to click on ads because they know they’re helping generate ad revenues which will eventually reach them as payment for the content & activity they generate.

But the kicker is the massive adoption of Tsu’s own app, which shows more than half a million downloads on Google Play. Their iOS app is listed at No. 185 by App Annie in the social networking category.

New York, NY-based Tsu was founded in July 2013 by Drew Ginsburg, Sebastian Sobczak, Thibault Boullenger & Jonathan Lewin. The company has raised $7 million in venture funding.

Image Credit: Tsu

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Image Credit: Github/Adaptive Images

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