Why TSU is “fizzling out” even though the site has users.
Authors note: Please read this if before commenting. If you are a TSU member, please be civil. I know you guys are an active vocal community and I support your success. If you are not a TSU member please add your thoughts.
In a recent article 12 simple ways to make 2016 your best year author Emelina Spinelli wrote a phrase in passing that TSU is fizzling out. This became a rallying cry for the TSU community to say “hey we are still significant.” I believe that even though TSU has had decent user growth, the site and the service is in trouble.
What is TSU?
Simply, TSU is a social media site that shares its advertising revenue with it’s content creators. Their entire rallying cry is how much Facebook made and the users didn’t make a dime. The second aspect of TSU is the MLM recruitment model it has.
The entire business model is predicated on the idea you must recruit others and you make money off their efforts. These are called “children” in TSU. You get a paid if they share content and generate advertising dollars.
Personally, I have always been cautious of MLM’s. I feel they are one step away from a Ponzi scheme. I am not saying TSU is a Ponzi scheme, I am saying I don’t like the business model of MLM’s.
Let me be clear, TSU isn’t a scam, but after reading this article, you will see why it’s not worth your time and effort.
How I measure the worth of a social media.
The inherent value of a social media is the contributions it makes to society.
This is usually predicated on the technology or innovation it creates. That being said TSU has no new ideas or technological improvements. At least none that I can see.
Breaking down the major social medias, their technological and sociological impact. You can see how they have not only helped society but revolutionized technology.
Facebook was, and in some capacities, still is the first true social media, a pioneer in all capacities and revolutionized our world. Facebook has connected 1/7 of the entire world’s population.
FacebookThis changed how we feel about issues around the world, allowing us a more human connection to people we have never even met.
Twitter created an outlet where users could share their thoughts and have a true conversation. This was the original point of Twitter when first launched. Now it has become a mechanism to curate your own personalized news about subjects of interest.
Twitter allowed us to connect and talk in a new way.
Youtube is the behemoth in the video space. Single-handedly changing how we look at TV. Without YouTube as a pioneer, we wouldn’t have hulu, Netflix, or any other of the services we have today.
Instagram made us all better photographers. It made society focus on the beauty of the world and try and capture it one photo at a time. (Half the time, the beauty was our food
Snapchat started as a sexting app but created the first native vertical video platform. It has become the true competition of Facebook. Facebook is losing its audience to Snapchat.
Periscope has changed social media by connecting live videos from anywhere in the world. We now have the power of a T.V broadcast station in our phones.
TSU has no real inherent value. The entire value proposition is to pay content creators advertising revenue. Paying content creators is not a new model.
Youtube pays its content creators advertising revenue. Heck you can make more money blogging and doing google Adsense than you can investing your time into TSU.
The next argument TSU has is Facebook is threatened
If Facebook wanted to “silence, or kill” TSU it would first simply try and buy it out.
Facebook has a well-documented history of doing this. They bought Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus and so many more. Buying the competition makes more sense than trying to “beat” the competition.
Like it’s attempts to buy out Snapchat. Snapchat rejected the buyout of over 3 Billion Dollars. This failed, they tried to beat it with their app slingshot… Yea that didn’t work.
Buying your competition out makes sense.
The second thing TSUvians are saying is
“we got Facebook to reverse this ruling.”
Look, the reason Facebook shut down links to TSU is because the practice is super spammy. Nathaniell said it eloquently in his review of TSU.
“Everyone is annoyed by your TSU link. No, your subtle “join me if you want I don’t really care” comment doesn’t fly either. I see so many comments on any TSU review site where they just leave their referral link, hoping, praying, that someone clicks it and joins.”
Facebook reversed the ruling because it gives zero fucks. That's a technical term.
By allowing TSU to share again on Facebook, the users feel they “won a victory” and pat each other on the back. But in the end, they sit down and shut up.
Facebook cares way more about bad publicity for the masses. By shutting down TSU links it unknowingly gave power to TSU, sure. But by reversing it, it takes that power away in a heartbeat.
Making TSU not newsworthy again.
Growth of User Base
TSU while having a good growth of 4.5 million total users. Something that I wouldn’t personally sneeze at for my own personal site. This number desperately pales in comparison to other social medias and other websites.
TSU compares its growth to the start of Facebook and Twitter. Touting claims that they grew faster in the first year than either of those two platform.
To this, we must look at the environment that the social media is growing up in. TSU came years after Facebook and Twitter. Those two platforms paved the way for the idea of social media.
A true comparison would be to site TSU vs a new social media like Periscope. A social media that came up at around the same timeframe as the other.
In that regard, TSU fails to make any splash. TSU in a year got 4.5 million users, in 1 week Periscope hit 1 million and in 6 months hit 10 million users.
That is double the amount of users in half the time.
Heck compare that to Buzzfeed the 44th top site in the world, where TSU is the 2470 top site in… India. According to alexa.com
Does the platform have mass market stickiness?
I.E do people try it and fall in love with it? Not just a few but a HUGE SOME OF PEOPLE.
Simple answer is no.
When vine hit on a Thursday it was the top app that Friday. It was instantly popular to the point of not being able to keep up with demand.
Periscope hit a million users in a the first week.
Snapchat is the biggest threat to Facebook currently, siphoning off real numbers of the 13–30 demographic to it’s platform.
Heck even medium.com has much more stickiness as a platform. Hench why this article is on here.
TSU doesn’t have that stickiness factor. If it did the numbers would be higher. The authority figures in the social media space would spend more time there. 4.5 million users does not mean 4.5 million active accounts.
Active accounts are what matters and that number is significantly smaller. This is because there isn’t mass market stickiness.
What is the monetization strategy?
Social media’s are businesses and they all at some point or another need a clear monetization strategy that works.
Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Pinterest all have clear monetization strategies that are working insanely well. Other social media’s like Snapchat are playing around with different monetization strategies. While Snapchat isn’t 100% spot on with its strategy it will generate it in time.
In this department TSU does have a “successful monetization strategy.”
Kinda… the math just doesn’t work out.
If 100 people split an ad revenue of $100 bucks they all make $1. If each person adds 10 users that's 1000 users. The ad budget won’t increase proportionally (Facebook only makes $10 per user with how big it is after all). At best the TSU users will see dimension returns on their efforts.
They will survive as a niche social media. A certain number of people will believe they can make decent money posting and engaging on TSU. But in the end TSU has basically fallen off the radar of the populace.
It was new, it was hot, it was riding on the trend of hating on Facebook. But in the end, a new shinier thing came along and distracted the populace.
Is TSU a place to make money?
Nope. not yet.
Look I hear you guys before you get up in arms. I know TSU’s entire model is paying all the content creators. But look at TSU’s own forum http://tsuforum.com/topic/125-share-your-earnings/ people earn .9 cents a day for posting all day long. Others are excited if they make $1 a day.
You can make more money as a homeless person asking for spare change than posting on TSU (https://www.quora.com/How-much-money-can-a-homeless-person-make-by-panhandling)
What is the value of TSU?
TSU has value. I won’t deny that. The value is in building relationships. It doesn’t matter if it’s TSU, Ello, Facebook, or any other. There is a tremendous amount of value in building relationships, it is the number one strategy I subscribe too.
You can take those relationships gained in TSU or any other social media and connect on the next platform.
Relationships will forever be your best form of traffic, engagement, revenue, and leverage. That is the key in social media marketing in general.
Not sharing content because it will make you money. We don’t share upworthy content because it makes us money, we share it because it moves us.
In the end, the best way I can describe my feelings of the state of TSU and the TSUvians, is in this video.
TSU: “I am not dead yet”
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