Tsu.co has Gone Dark… Why?

Tsu Logo

A couple of years ago a new social media hit the ground running.  Tsu.co was built entirely on the idea that the content creators should get paid for their creation.  Unlike Facebook, that reaps the benefits of your uploads, this company said they would give back 90% of the ad revenue they generated.

Now they have gone dark.  What happened?  Where did they go wrong?

The Platform Was Designed for Abuse

The way it worked was like this: you get invited by someone to join Tsu.  After you joined the site would track all of your analytics.  It would show what you have posted, when, how many views you had, etc.

Companies were able to buy advertising space on the site, and it worked in a similar manner as Adsense.  Every time someone saw the ad the advertiser would pay a fraction of a penny, and every time someone clicked on the ad the advertiser would pay more.  According to Tsu, if the ad was displayed next to something that you posted, then you would reap most of the money from that ad.

But here’s the catch (and the reason Facebook started blocking links to Tsu): people wanted to earn more money.  So they would start spamming their Facebook with their affiliate links.  More people that signed up under your account meant more ad revenue for you without doing anything.

Tsu was destined for abuse because of this part of their model.

Tsu closes down

Visitors are greeted with this text on the site.

The Model was Largely Unsustainable

But there is more than just the abuse that people wanted to get more people signed up with their link.  There are plenty of companies that do that (think about every MLM out there).  So why did this one collapse so quickly?

In part it’s because there was no product.  But Facebook made it work for them.  But I believe it was because they paid back too much of the money they brought in.  It was honorable, noble even, to want to give back to the content creators.  But people use social media to connect (some use it to make money) and not to get paid.

With so much being paid out to the users, it was harder to justify the amount of time and money that went into the site as a whole.  In the end, Tsu had to shut down because it wasn’t worthwhile to keep things up and running.


People Didn’t Care

GreedBut the biggest issue behind Tsu closing their doors wasn’t the ad platform.  It wasn’t the revenue, and it wasn’t the abuse.  The biggest reason that Tsu didn’t last was because the users simply didn’t care.

I’ll be honest, I had a Tsu account.  Every day I would post one or two items promoting work that I had done.  I rarely interacted with people and I rarely even scrolled through my newsfeed.  It was a quick way to spread awareness of what I had to offer.  I didn’t care.

But other people that used the platform even more didn’t care either.  They posted regularly because they wanted to see their analytics, and subsequently the money they earned, tick up and up.  The more they were on the site the more they would make.  But they didn’t care about interacting, posting, or engaging.  They cared about the money.

Tsu went dark because most people were in it for the money and not for the social aspect.


Is Social Media Dying?

Facebook hit the market at just the right time.  There were tons of copycats, and most have a sudden influx and flurry of users (think of Tsu and Ello) and then they drift off into nothingness.  Their offerings simply aren’t different enough to make them last.

Social media is constantly changing.  And most companies that try to reinvent the wheel are failing.

Tsu had a great idea, but ultimately it wasn’t one that got people excited enough about anything other than the money involved.


  1. Brian Dennis says:

    Very interesting, i think you bring up a valid point about social media changing, I challenge you to help find a better way to socially interact online. It is very hard to beat the fb model which drives many of us tsuvians nuts. Im glad u took the time and hope to hear more from you. Stay green!

    • Scott says:

      Twitter can be “OK” but too often interaction simply goes ignored on there. I found the best way to interact online is to build the relationship via email, and then when you shout-out or mention on the other platforms your voice is much more likely to be heard.

  2. As a ‘former TSU user’ I think it was RIPPED OFF THE NET because the Hillary-bashing attracted too much notice and the Clinton Machine sprang into action…

  3. Comănescu Carmen says:

    I know a lot of people on Tsu who really care,interact and involved in charity,donate a lot of money or even all they made on site.And many people still suffer cos Tsu went dark.Not for the money,but they lost friends.

    • Scott says:

      There were some good people that were using the site the way it was intended. Unfortunately too many bums ruin it for all of us.

  4. […] CEO @sebastianarthur thanks users on the home page but isn’t really explaining much. Here’s a good article talking about the closure and analyzing the […]

  5. […] CEO @sebastianarthur thanks users on the home page but isn’t really explaining much. Here’s a good article talking about the closure and analyzing the […]

  6. […] CEO @sebastianarthur thanks users on the home page but isn’t really explaining much. Here’s a good article talking about the closure and analyzing the […]

  7. […] CEO @sebastianarthur thanks users on the home page but isn’t really explaining much. Here’s a good article talking about the closure and analyzing the […]

  8. […] gone dark.  I did a quick Google search and nothing came up on the subject.  So I quickly created this piece about Tsu.co closing down.  It now ranks near the top of Google searches; mostly because it was highly relevant without much […]

  9. Hopefully there were some lessons learned. Nice article!

  10. Lecraesha says:

    I had a tsu account. It was so boring on there I rarely log in. I didn’t even know it was shut down until today!! Facebook was much more interesting with real interactions and posts. At Tsu people would randomly liked post and shared post just to make money.

  11. Kenneth says:

    Valid pointers. Yea you are absolutely correct, I am a member of the social media platform but it seems so useless because people doesnt interact and they fake likes and their selves as well just because of earning money. Not so surprising, they spam too much because of the mlm scheme.

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