The Social Network That Rewards Content Creators: An Inside Look at Tsu’s Growth

By Kimberlee Morrison Comment


When Tsu launched in October, it was met with both hope and skepticism. Since that launch, the social platform that gives its users ownership over their audience and 90 percent of revenues generated from their content has attracted more than 3.5 million users.

Like other networks, Tsu uses an advertising model. However, Tsu deviates from the typical model by compensating its users for creating original content. In this way, Tsu has created a social network for original, user-generated content, where the content is the product, not the users.

This approach seems to be working. According to Tsu co-founder and CEO Sebastian Sobczak, Tsu has been growing at the rate of 250,000 to 750,000 new users each month. What’s more, he says, the average users spends about 15 minutes on the site per day.

Sobczak told SocialTimes:

I think it’s also indicative that’s there a new craving for people to be fairly rewarded for their content, especially on social media. The fact that we created this platform for people to share and connect with others in a way that’s philosophically fair is an incredibly humbling experience.

Web developer and Tsu user Bryan Daugherty discovered Tsu a couple days after launch. He read the FAQ and was impressed with the philosophy. In addition to being a developer, Daugherty creates funny graphics. He says he’s been on almost every social network out there, but Tsu is the only one he thought gave him fair compensation for his content. And in January, Daugherty made Tsu his primary social media posting point.

Daugherty says:

I’m able to connect my other accounts, like Twitter and Facebook, so I still share to the other networks when I feel like it.

Since joining Tsu, Daugherty has become an evangelist of sorts, promoting Tsu and inviting people to join his network. Indeed, this is part of the functionality of Tsu: users invite others to become part of their “family tree,” and much like a multi-level-marketing business, those at the top of the tree receive a percentage of the royalties generated from content created by their “children.”


Daugherty isn’t the only Tsu user who creates original content. In fact, Sobczack says that all of the content posted to Tsu is original — “from selfies, to food photos, to family photos, to their thoughts.”

Sobczack points to Kimberly Henderson, a Tsu user who became a YouTube star after posting a video singing her own arrangement of Whitney Houston’s “How Will I Know” to her daughter:

[Kimberly’s] video went viral and now she’s been approached by various labels. She calls tsu her home, using it as her central hub to share her story and her work—her content—with all of her fans.

Likewise, Daugherty says the Tsu community is one of the most important aspects of the platform. Not only does the network compensate its users for their work, Daugherty says he has donated a large portion of his revenue to Tsu partner charities. In this way, he feels Tsu has given him a way to have a real impact on the world.

It’s a great engine for philanthropy and has a genuinely positive atmosphere. That’s what really caught my eye and kept me wanting to post there beyond just the money.

Readers: Have you ever used Tsu?