How a TSUnami might drown FaceBook

FaceBook is under attack. Can its hegemony stand against up-and-comers like Tsu and Ello?

Of course, the answer is…maybe. FaceBook might seem like a Rock of Giberaltar, solid and unmovable. But so was the Soviet Union (for you younger readers, that’s what they called Russia and a number of its vassal states before the fall of the Berlin Wall ended the Cold War).

Tsuccess - success on Tsu social network

There was a time before Google, too, when Lycos and Alta Vista and Excite and Looksmart ruled the Web.

And FaceBook itself displaced MySpace in the social networking space, which in turn displaced Friendster. The question is not if FaceBook will be replaced, but rather when and by whom?

2014 has seen the launch of two contenders with a better chance than most so far.

Ello is the media darling, which launched in beta mode early this year with its promise never to sell user data or to post ads. It has positioned itself as the anti-FaceBook and has attracted some good capital funding to stake its claim. But it is still in beta and you still need an invitation, so I will report on Ello some other time.

Tsu is less than a month old, and distinguishes itself from FaceBook by sharing its revenue with users. Like Ello, it appeals to people’s sense of fair play: you put content on a social network, you should share in the profits.

Each of these social networks has a captivating Unique Value Proposition. The question is whether either of them will displace FaceBook, or at least make a stand side-by-side with FaceBook.

I use FaceBook and there is nothing specific that bothers me about the site, at least not enough for me to quit. Nothing specific. But there is something just a little shifty about the changing terms of service, the blocking posts from users that we want to see, the privacy concerns… It’s like that guy you meet who always seems to have something to hide.

So I have signed up for Tsu and I am committed to being active there; I am closing in on 500 friends in under a week. I do not expect to get rich from Tsu, but I do spend time on social media. If that time can be converted into a couple extra pizzas each month, that’s a nice little bonus, right?

Tsu has the basic layout and functionality of FaceBook, but feels more fun – the community is somehow more like Google Plus (and that is a good thing). Tsu has hit the ground running, going public before all the features are live, the opposite strategy from Ello. To be viable, at very least Tsu will need some form of groups or communities, so we can assume that will be coming shortly. To compete with Google Plus, Tsu will probably need something like circles and hangouts, or something else uniquely its own.

How you can be be successful on Tsu

  1. Share awesome content – things that are useful, entertaining or newsworthy.
  2. Build a large network of friends, so that your content gets seen and shared.
  3. Be sociable – comment and like other people’s posts, and share them when you really like them.
  4. Forget about the money. Seriously, you need to be social because you have reasons to interact for fun or to build a community for your business.
  5. Be an early adapter. This is key to the whole making money part. Invite people. This is the ONLY thing you should do for the money. A year from now, thousands of people will be banging their heads on the wall for not getting in right away and inviting their friends.

Tsu early adapter

The more people you invite, the more “children” you will have and the bigger your “network” will be. Tsu will share with you its revenue based on your activity and the activity of your children and grand children, so it is important to invite A) lots of friends and B) active friends.

I can’t stress enough the “active” portion of all this. You are not paid for the number of people you recruit; you are paid for the activity you and they generate. Being an early adapter means that you have a better chance of inviting active people who have not yet joined.

This brings us full circle to “forget about the money”. Invite people and encourage them to be active. Then, just go ahead and do what you would be doing on FaceBook or Google Plus anyway. Did you notice that those first three points are the same as for any other social network? Yes, Tsu is much like any other social network in that respect, just that you get a share of the revenue that your activity generates.

If you try too hard, you’ll become a spammer. And as I pointed out in the Social Media Sun, nobody wants to share their revenue with a spammer. Spammers will not get far on Tsu.

Already Tsu has taken measures to prevent spamming and encourage quality sharing. Anyone posting or sharing “Share this to earn more money” posts will have their accounts terminated. And there are daily and weekly limits for posting and friend requests, to keep spammers from running amok.

I hope Tsu stays vigilant on the matter of spamming, even if it makes things occasionally inconvenient. That is what makes it a great place to be – good quality content with a really fun atmosphere.

HOMEWORK: Join Tsu today, then invite three social media friends to join, too. You will sooooooo thank me for it later.


  1. Seems like Tsu have a pretty good idea there 🙂

  2. Hi David,

    (left the first part of this comment on Kingged)

    After seeing you and a few others (Phil, I think) mention Tsu in the mastermind group, I signed up for it. You might not know this, but I often watch how you interact in new social media venues like this, to get an idea about the best way to use it.

    I don’t know if it’ll be a TSUnami (love that play on words!), but maybe Tsu will give FB a run for its money (pun intended).

    Thanks for the insights.

    Taking your advice, I’ll spend more time over there.

    ~ Vernessa Taylor (@CoachNotesBlog on Twitter)

  3. Hi, David,

    I had not yet heard of Tsu, so thanks for the heads up. I don’t think it will overtake Facebook, but you never know with these things.

    I may sign up and give it a whirl if I can find some time this weekend.

    Thanks for sharing, and I’ll let my friends know as well.

    – Carol

  4. I don’t see Tsu as overtaking Facebook but as more of a competition towards Google+ (in a minor way). As for Ello, it’s more or less a competitor to tumblr. But yeah, i agree that a competitor will come along that will take down Facebook sooner or later, hopefully sooner.

  5. I certainly don’t see it as an alternative to Facebook unfortunately. It is horribly boring with people just liking the most awful content and posting completely meaningless comments in the hope of getting a follow. Shame, but I do not see it lasting unless the owner does something pretty soon.

  6. Hi Janette. I think you are a few days behind the times. Late last week, Tsu staff smote a whole lot of spammy accounts. I find that the level of engagement is very high and very positive.

  7. Thanks David, yes I am behind I admit!

    I will take a another look 🙂

  8. It sounds interesting, but how the popularity looks like? Even G+ was not able to win the fight with Facebook.

  9. Some interesting stats out last week about the drop off in teens signing up to Facebook. Apparently they are using different social media platforms and Facebook is slowly becoming the network of choice for the middle aged.

  10. I see it in my own kids, David. Instagram rules for them.