So, Tsu Me: Why Facebook Is Terrified of This Virtually Unknown Competitor and What It Could Mean For the Future of the Internet

So, Tsu Me: Why Facebook Is Terrified of This Virtually Unknown Competitor and What It Could Mean For the Future of the Internet

by David Fagin
Posted: 10/21/2015 12:47 pm EDT

Let's 'Face' it. In today's tech landscape, there's no bigger dog on the block than Facebook. "King Mark" has built an empire so rich and so vast that if he thinks your little startup is going to cause him problems, he simply buys you out for more money than you, or your grandkids, or their grandkids, will ever need. Problem solved.

But, what if you're not for sale? What in the world does King Mark do if you have something really great, that has millions of users around the globe buzzing about its potential as being a "game-changer," and he can't have it? Simple. He blocks you.

Being blocked from Facebook in this day and age is the equivalent of being kicked off AT&T in the mid 70s. Which, if it happened, could create some problems.

What would you do if Facebook banished you tomorrow? How would you let the world know you were being blocked? You can't post it on Facebook. You can't do it on Instagram, either, as Facebook owns that, too. Forget about tweeting it. You're attempt at alerting the world to your plight will be buried in a second by 38,000 Kardashian retweets.

Facebook is the primary source of communication for over 1.5 billion people. So, the simple act of preventing its users from linking to anything having to do with your site will all but ensure your continuing anonymity.

However, if you're the founder of a startup site that currently ranks 11,372nd in popularity in the U.S., you'd think you're good, right? Wrong.

That's exactly what's happening to over 4.5 million users of Tsu.co - a Facebook with a conscience , whose founders believe users should be compensated for the content they create. That's so important, it's worth mentioning twice. Users should be compensated for the content they create.

This content/revenue stream comes from not only your page but from your network of users, i.e., friends you've invited to join and friends they've invited.

Think about all friends you told to join Facebook at the beginning. The posts you've shared, all the pages you've liked, and all the groups you've joined/started since creating your Facebook profile. Now, imagine how much revenue you've generated for Facebook. Now imagine how much you could have generated for yourself. Revenue that, with just a click of a mouse on Tsu, could be shared with the charity of your choice. No personal bank info needed.

I'm not going to get into a detailed explanation of the site's revenue model - there are dozens of pieces on Tsu's founder, Sebastian Sobczak, explaining how simply posting a link on the site can turn into dollars - except to say, think of Tsu as the social media version of Uber - just the business model, not the backlash. The site keeps 10% of ad revenue (which is derived through third party ads, partnerships and sponsors) and shares the other 90% with its users. Pretty neat, huh? That's just the tip of the iceberg.

Tsu's popularity is growing at quite an impressive pace. It registered over 3.5 million users in its first 6 months. Faster than both Facebook and Twitter. If that's not enough, due to its philanthropic mission statement, in just its first year, Tsu was chosen as the Media Partner of the Year by the Make A Wish Foundation.

To put it simply, according to Tsu's FAQ's page:

"Users should be compensated for their likeness, image and content. It's simple and it's the right thing to do."

I know a lot of musicians, artists, photographers, comedians, etc., who would probably agree. In fact, there are folks earning more from posting on Tsu than they do from their music streams.

Other areas where Tsu is taking Facebook on include:

Likes: On Facebook, if you currently have a million 'likes,' only a fraction of those people can see your posts, as Facebook wants to entice you to "Boost" it by paying for it. Whereas, on Tsu, all your posts are visible to all who like your page.

Groups: On Tsu, companies like Disney will be able to use their over 50 million followers to generate money for charity, as the site will automatically donate 5% to a charity of the group's choosing. Nothing like that at the moment on Facebook.

Search Bar/Analytics One thing Facebook has sorely been missing is a search bar to quickly locate a piece you or your friend may have posted, without having to constantly hit the scroll bar. Tsu's platform has this, as well as detailed analytics on how many views your posts have received.

Data Sharing: It's no secret anymore that Facebook willfully shares your data with every company under the sun. From Comcast to Chase, your browsing habits and web searches are tracked and monitored in perpetuity, which tilts the odds heavily in favor of any Facebook partner you may need to do business with, i.e. bank loans, mortgage rates, etc.

Compensating users for their content? Giving a percentage to charity? All this "crazy talk" is apparently starting to spook Facebook to the point where, over the past few weeks, links to anything mentioning the site, including pics containing only text, have been inexplicably erased from millions of Facebook's user's profiles.

Of course, Facebook is claiming Tsu is violating the terms of their API, a platform to platform sharing agreement, but according to Mr. Sobczak, it's just an excuse to attempt to legally justify the removal and subsequent blocking of the site from Facebook and its users. "If we are violating any type of technical or legal boundaries regarding Facebook's API, which we are not, we would see warnings on our dashboard - which we've never seen -, not to mention, we continue to receive messages that we are in compliance, all while we are being blocked," he says. "We've even been deleted from Facebook Messenger and we don't even integrate with that app."

Facebook isn't discriminating, either. According to Sobczak, they've deleted every mention of Tsu from 50 Cent's Facebook page with 38 million followers, as well as over 7,000 works of art posted by breast cancer survivor A Dog a Day. "These are independent posts shared by Facebook users without using an API and have nothing to do with Tsu," he says.

When I tried linking to Tsu on Facebook, I immediately got a warning saying it was an "unsafe link." 2015-10-19-1445238873-206645-ScreenShot20151017at2.12.26PM.png

Meanwhile, it's still no problem to post links to most porn sites.

"Sharing a link to Tsu is no different than sharing a link to YouTube, the Huffington Post, Twitter, etc., yet, for some reason, we're being singled out as violators," states Sobczak. "It's a clear case of censorship."

As small as they are at the moment, 4 million users compared to 1.5 billion, Tsu's business model of sharing revenue with its users is impossible for Facebook to duplicate even if they wanted to, as it's now a publicly traded company.

Can you imagine Mark Zuckerberg at the next shareholders meeting telling his investors he's decided to give 90% of Facebook's ad revenue to its users? Sounds like something out of a Cohen brother's movie.

Google's currently under anti-trust investigation for allegedly attempting to block competitors from accessing Android, and way back Microsoft became the first online anti-trust casualty when it tried to shut the door on Netscape.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to read between the lines here. Blockbuster was the big dog on the block for decades before Netflix came along. It's almost unimaginable at the moment to think that people would abandon Facebook with the idea of switching to a more user-friendly, and user-protective site. But it wasn't too long ago folks thought Myspace was the end-all-be-all of the social media landscape.

Before you go running to Tsu.co in an attempt to sign up, be aware that the site is by invite only. This will hopefully keep most of the yokels off, as well as making each ad placement in the U.S. more valuable to overseas advertisers, thus, generating more revenue for the content creator.

When you compare Facebook to Tsu, it definitely appears as if Facebook is The Matrix, and Tsu is Neo.

Not that Facebook doesn't have a boat to weather the coming storm, but, if they're not prepared, they'd be hard-pressed to survive a Tsunami.

P.S. Since I can't post a link on Facebook requesting that you "Follow me on Tsu!" you can do it Here

2015-10-19-1445242388-7514110-gmofreetsupgscreenshot.JPG

Original article here on HuffPo Tech

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"I have been watching everyone in the Indie Industry struggle for the past 10 years or so, and it is not getting easier, is it? Well it is time to make a change and understand how the next level of new media will be able to work for you! So here we go!!  We are all making a movie together!!"
karen"IndieStardust" is an exploration of the wild dance that Indie Artists have to navigate. Artists in all creative genres are struggling to keep creating their art as the landscape of the digital revolution emerges as a fast paced artform within itself. - Karen A. Brown, Director/Producer "IndieStardust" US Producer #whilewewatch(2012) Soon to be published Indie Author, CEO StardustBlue Media Producer/ Writer/ Creative/ Marketing/Branding SAG/AFTRA
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What this Film hopes to achieve is to not only share your stories with others, but to also give many of you a solution and eventually a way to market, share your projects and to get funding for your own projects. So below is the basic breakdown of what we need from you!

PHASE 1:

What we are doing: We are making a feature documentry.  The film will have solutions and will be used for a larger campaign to see if we can help the Indie creative industry as a whole with even more solutions.

Topic: Are you working other jobs now just to pay for what you used to do for a living? How hard is it to raise funds for your projects? Are you having to pay to play? Are you paying for your own travel and promo? Are you having to pay to make your own films, write your own books, get your act on stage, etc.?

What we need: Footage of Filmmakers, Musicians/Bands, Comedians, Writers, Bloggers, Artists, Producers, Directors, Engineers ...anyone who is in a creative industry trying to figure this all out as the tech industry has inadvertantly slammed the old ways to complete disfunction! We want footage from YOU anywhere in the world, any age, race etc.. If you have a "famous face" it will help us greatly!

billy amendola"This film will help independent artists find ways to get their projects off the ground. Get on board with Karen A. Brown and be part of positive change in your industry."  -Billy Amendola - Drummer/Songwriter/Producer

How to film yourself:

1. Environment: When you film yourself, please be in your creative environment and try to film the footage using great lighting, angles, sound. Look at your background, please be sure it looks balanced and the cat isn't hanging from a picture frame. ;) You can shoot outside with natural lighting as well, just be aware of natural sounds.

2. Your Image: Keep your own image "off" center to one side or the other of your screen. Cut the screen in half in your mind and then center yourself in one half. If you are not a filmmaker, make sure your iPhone is set to HD on a tripod or even a friend with a very steady hand will do it!

3. Important for non- filmmakers: Please make sure your iPhone is turned sideways when you are filming to get a full screen shot. * Note if your footage cannot be used for some reason we won't  be able to place it in the film. So be sure to film in HD [There is an HD setting on your iPhone for Video] with a steady hand or tripod and be clear when you speak and be sure your lighting is good too!

Josh Gottsegen"Being an artist doesn't just mean to create anymore... There is a sense of entrepreneurial spirit that has emerged from technology. If one wants to succeed they need to take appropriate steps in digital marketing and development... And to believe in luck! Here's to "IndieStardust", a doc that shines light on the artist's journey. - Josh Gottsegen, Author, "Joosh's Juice Bar" children's book series. Co-Founder IndieTrailers.com."

Questions to answer is: Can you tell me about the struggle of an Indie Creative in today's environment? What are your personal challenges? Begin with your name and occupation and if you have worked with anyone with a public presence, awards, etc..  [ Discuss anything pertaining to the costs to and from jobs/gigs to the lack of payment as a blogger to not being able to promote your project without working two jobs etc.. How hard it is to hold down a job you hate to pay for your art because it no longer pays you your worth or at all. Feel free to discuss schooling, past successes, basic health issues. Topics that make things more difficult, etc.]

What we are looking for from you: Sound bytes! Great one-liners on what you have been going through!

Time: No more than 2- 3 minutes

Schedule: We hope to have all the footage in by mid - April or sooner for Phase 1 and get a Trailer up soon after!

Sending in Footage: Send me your footage via skype/ dropbox/ YouSendIt

Release forms must be signed for us to use your footage. As soon as you send in footage we will send the release.:) 

Credits: Everyone we use in the film will be credited on IMDb and in the film credits!  Everyone that sends us footage that we use in the film will be credited as an additional photographer!

Crowd Funding: We are looking for 50k to get this up and started for the"first round" of funding. Anything you can do is appreciated! Do not donate funds unless you are comfortable doing so. I don't want to worry about all of you more than I already do! If you are interested in supporting the film at a higher level please email Karen at IndieStardustFilm@gmail.com

*See PayPal button below * Important: Please check *this button* on the paypal website when sending! Otherwise the fees might outweight the donation. It says, "I'm sending money to family or friends $0.00 USD fee if you use your PayPal balance and/or a bank account. Or you can check the button that says you will pay a 59 cent fee for sending with a credit card."

And Thank you!! This is truly a worthwhile project that will help everyone!!

I send appreciation from my heart to all of you.. for all of you.

Let's make a positive solution movie!

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