Tsu passes two million users, sets sights on content ownership and revenue redistribution

Social network Tsu which pays users to post passed two million users at the start of 2015 -- explosive growth since it launched just two months ago.

Facebook took 10 months to reach its first million users since it launched in 2004. Social network Tsu passed two million users at the start of January 2015 -- huge growth since launching in October 2014.

tsu passes two million users swets sights on content and royalty redistribution ZDNet
Antlong/Tsu

In 74 days Tsu has gained loyal users and active user engagement. Its users spend about 20 minutes per day on the site. The social network's main goal is to be the "best place to create and own content while discovering creative, fun and new ways to interact with other users, charities and organizations".

The New York based start-up is currently 25 people strong, and expanding, especially across its development team. Listening to its users is a priority for the team.

The founders feel a responsibility to make Tsu the "best place to create and consume quality content while making it a truly fun place to interact with friends, family and users with similar interests"

You can only join Tsu by using a registration link or code from an existing user which is reflected in the URL (for example http://tsu.co/eileenb) . 90 percent of ad revenue is shared between the content creator and users above them on their family tree. The more children you sign up to Tsu, the more royalties you can potentially earn.

Sebastian Sobczak, Tsu CEO and founder believes there is a market opportunity around content creation and ownership.He says that the growth of Tsu's user base has "somewhat exceeded expectations" and has been "floored by the international response".

He is very humbled that this growth technically makes Tsu the "fastest independent social network to hit that milestone since first launch".

"The response we've seen so far is extremely encouraging - users have spoken. Now, it's up to us to give them all the tools they need to create, reconnect and own their content" he said.

The platform has moved really quickly to suppress the spammers and users who beg for followers in their posts. It is looking to the community to keep Tsu real for its users while suppressing automated bots and users that share as much as they can to increase revenue.

Sobczak has been focusing on this area closely, and is addressing it directly through content, community and technology. He says that the site has a "lot of strong content" and that in "many ways, new members are looking to us to help define what good content is".

The platform leverages tools such as discovery engines to improve the site on an ongoing basis. The developers spend time reviewing data, trends and predictive traits to keep the pulse of behaviors on the network.

The team also feels lucky to have a "responsive and supportive community" and has "learned a lot" from them. "It's been amazing to see the community play a huge role in remaining diligent about content," Sobczak said.

The platform is one of several new social networks that share revenue with its users.

It has similar policies to YouTube in the production and payout of revenue shares and royalty checks and it considers itself to be no different conceptually.

Its global expansion means that currently users can only receive cheques in US dollars. The platform is evaluating and testing its approach to international markets but confirms that, today's currency (USD) can be transferred from one user to another.

In the future, it expects to "see Tsu users transact with each other in micro peer-to-peer payments for all types of goods and services". It presently has no plans to send users cheques in non-US currencies.

Tsu is leading the way in encouraging its users to redistribute their royalties to charities and worthy causes using peer payments. It currently has "dozens of verified charities on the platform".

If a charity has a form 990 issued to them from the U.S. government, it is immediately verified as a charity on tsū and a flower icon appears against its tsū user name. Verified charities can immediately begin accepting peer to peer donations.

Sobczak has found that Tsu is developing in tandem with the interests of the community. "We are listening, augmenting, adjusting and implementing to make the features that our community really wants -- in effect, they are stakeholders of our product roadmap" he says.

Its message of ownership has resonated with a variety of users. The platform has charities, street artists, bloggers, athletes and Olympians, college coaches, glass blowers, YouTubers, songwriters, proud parents, publishers and more.

"We want to continue down this diverse and inclusive path. We think Tsu is the way the world should work".

At this rate of growth and expansion, it won't be long before the social world IS Tsu and we all work this way.

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