November 18, 2014
Despite all the previous media attention that highlights the issues surrounding intellectual property rights on such platforms like Facebook and Twitter, I’m sure that a vast majority of users on either network cannot say with 100 percent certainty whether they actually hold full ownership of the content they create, and subsequently post, on these social networks. You shouldn’t be ashamed, though – I myself wasn’t absolutely sure. In the case of Facebook, the simple answer: yes, the original content (like pictures and videos) that you post is technically yours, but because Facebook is a free platform and very much in the business of leveraging your data, any content uploaded to Facebook can be used by the company in whatever manner (unless otherwise explicitly restricted by your privacy and application settings). New social network Tsu is aiming to give control back to users – the very ones responsible for helping catapult Facebook and Twitter to their current positions.
“YouTube started this amazing concept where you have to reward the content creator and they have created this global expanding business model that has proven to be very successful,” said founder Sebastian Sobczak. “We took this concept and brought it to social media – as today’s social platforms are 100 percent inefficient for the user and [would be] similar to radio stations playing everybody’s song but not paying [artists] any royalties… Tsu returns ownership of content back to each content creator – which is every social user.”
Launched just last month, Tsu is the first and only social network that gives ownership of content back to its users by paying each of them royalties per the amount of traffic that their content generates. By doing so, the company empowers users to continue producing great content, all while making money for themselves and Tsu. According to Sobczak, every other social platform prior to Tsu willfully took advantage of user-generated content to make themselves money (indeed, companies like Facebook utilize user pictures and videos in their various marketing and advertising content on its network).
“It’s important to realize that there are two values for any users on a social network: 1) their content value, and 2) their network value. After all , they all spur adoption of these networks by asking their friends to join; but, now [with Tsu] they are valued for that.”
Tsu promises to keep only 10 percent of all revenues generated through its advertisments, sponsorships, etc., whereas the other 90 percent will be shared among content creators and their networks. Content creators are rewarded with 45 percent of the total revenue generated by the amount of traffic that particular user has generated for his or her content. More uniquely, the remaining 45 percent gets split with the respective network that initially recruited the user. For instance, if I were to recruit Bobby, and Bobby generated X amount of dollars through his content, I am entitled to one-third of those royalties. And this continues on in a interminable timline, ultimately encouraging users to increase their own personal networks on Tsu.
“The point isn’t to make money, it’s to be rewarded for the content you create and share – for your own image and likeness,” emphasized Sobczak. “If my imagery and voice ends up having a huge following—then I am rewarded proportionally.”
Despite the huge potential Tsu can provide to already-popular content creators on other social networks, Sobczak points out that the primary reason for creating this new social network is to give true ownership back to the social user. While he does admit that he eventually wants to see Tsu evolve into a kind of primary payment platform – all without the need to connect your credit card, debit card, or bank account (presumably because that money will be sourced from the royalties earned from your social content).
Since launching Tsu, the social network has gained popularity with various celebrities and organizations, from the likes of Carmelo Anthony and LL Cool J, to Charity Water and the Goss-Michael Foundation. And, this year alone, the company has raised $7 million from venturing funding. Right now, the only way to join Tsu is if you know another member’s shortcode; to save you the hassle of finding one, just use mine (tsu.co/ronaldpbarba).
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