What is tsu? Is tsu a scam?

What is tsu?

Before I discuss whether tsu is a scam or not, what exactly is tsu?

Worldwide, billions of people use social media to share personal photos, catch up with friends and family, and share all aspects of their lives. Social media companies do not charge for use of their sites, but make billions of dollars by using user's content and interactions.

Tsu is a site that allows the user to retain full ownership of their content, and then shares 90% if the revenue with the community. It is open to individuals, brands and even incorporates charities, allowing them to receive donations directly from other users.

How does tsu work?

Tsu is very similar to Facebook. You can:

  • Update your status - how are you feeling? What's happening in your life? etc.
  • Share photos - you must have a thousand pictures of your cute cat?
  • Share videos - there are so many great videos on YouTube - share a few.
  • Join groups - want to learn about crocheting? There's a group for that.
  • Like and comment on posts - the more you engage with others, the more they will come to your profile and engage with you.
  • Share posts - that post about crocheting is brilliant, so share it with your friends!

You are able to view an individuals feed, or see an overall feed of all your friends activity.

Limitations on tsu

Unlike Facebook there are limits to the number of posts you can make, shares you can do etc,

The limits are:

  • 45 Posts per day (15 of these can be shares)
  • 50 Pending Friend Requests at any time
  • Follow 1000 people (total)
  • 1000 Likes per day
  • 5000 friends
  • 10 @mentions per post
  • 10 hashtags per post

How do you earn on tsu?

There are two distinct ways of earning on tsu:

  • Your content on tsu has value.

Your unique content and interactions have value, and you get paid for this. Half of your earnings will be generated from this content - this includes sharing videos, updating your status, sharing photos and engaging with your friends. The only caveat is that any photo you use must be your personal work, or you must have permission to use it.

  • Your network on tsu has value.

As you build a network around you by inviting family and friends, and as they invite their family and friends you will build a family tree. Each member in this tree will earn their own revenue; you as a parent ( or grand-parent) will earn a proportion of their income too!

An algorithm is used to shares 90% of the revenue the site earns. The way it is shared is based on the family tree. The diagram below describes exactly how the revenue is shared:

(used with permission)
(used with permission)

Is tsu a scam?

The definition of scam is: a fraudulent or deceptive act or operation. Tsu are very open about the way they operate and there is plenty of evidence that they pay charities as well as many users.

No user has to pay to join tsu.

Some have called it a pyramid scheme, but again with a pyramid scheme there is some sort of upward payment that benefits those at the top of the pyramid - while those at the top of a family tree will earn more, it is clearly defined how users will earn from their tree.

One of the biggest reasons tsu gets called a scam is that some users reach the payout threshold of $100 an then do not get paid; the users are often banned. bviously that user will assume that tsu is a scam.

The problem is that these users have not understood the rules of tsu that state that you will not get paid if:

  • You use photographs without permission (i.e. copying google images and pasting on tsu)
  • You spam people - posting 'share my post and I will share your post' is against the terms of service.

tsu only pays for original content

Overall I do not feel tsu is a scam but there perhaps needs to be better communication of the rules, and users should be made aware that they are breaking rules so that they can correct their posts.

It should be pointed out that:

  • tsu is not a get rich scheme; without engagement and hard work, most users will earn less than 1c a day.
  • tsu users who are great at recruitment and network marketing will definitely earn more as they will have a much larger family tree.
  • it is important to learn the rules of tsu - if you break a rule then you will forfeit revenue and could be banned.

It remains to be seen whether the model adapted to tsu will continue to work - while there are 4,000,000 registered users, many are not active because the promise of earnings doesn't meet their expectations.

What not to do on tsu.

There are many things that are not allowed on tsu; these things are likely to lead to a forfeiture of revenue, and potentially to a ban from the site:

Spamming: 'follow me follow you' type posts are considered spam and are strictly prohibited. Any other behavior that uses misleading methods to get more views and followers is considered spam.

Graphic Content: while graphic content isn't specifically forbidden, it must not be used in any hateful or sadistic manner - also, users should warn about graphic content.

Harassment: no form of direct or inderect abuse is permitted.

Hate : no content that incites hate or prejudice is allowed.

Intellectual Property: where a user shares pictures, they must have legal rights to use the content (i.e. ownership, permission from owner, or proof that the picture is in the public domain)

Nudity: Sexually explicit content is not allowed.

This is a brief overview of what is not allowed on tsu - always read the tsu FAQ to find out more.

Do you think tsu is a scam?

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Charities on tsu

There are currently 50 verified charities on tsu. Any charity can join tsu and start earning on their content; in addition any user can donate directly to their charity of choice - thousands of dollars has already been donated.

To become a verified charity on tsu send copies of the IRS Form 990 and the 501(c)(3) status letter to support@tsu.co along with the tsu profile url. If the charity is an overseas charity contact support to learn how to get registered.

The current verified charities on tsu are:

African Wildlife Foundation
Habitat GTA
Hearing Health Foundation
Amazon Watch
Hearing Loss Association of America
Andy Roddick Foundation
Hip Hop Public Health
Animal Harbor
House of Help Community
Asociacion Almanimal
Ikholwa Children's Home
Association de Protection
Leukemia and Lymphoma Society NJ
Bat World Sanctuary
Lighthouse Foundation
Beautiful Goal
Make-A-Wish SFLA
Bike To The Beach
Montgomery County Animal Shelter
Black Jaguar Foundation
Music for Autism
Caiden's Hope Foundation
Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen's alliance
Oakwood Creative Care
charity water
ONE love
Community Outreach Ministries
Outside Voices
DC Candlelighters
Paw Promise Animal Rescue
Red Nose Day
Environmental Media Association
Shikshya Foundation Nepal
Feed the Children Official
Southern Oregon Project
FilmAid International
Tabernacle Of Faith Baptist Church
Food for the Hungry
The Fund For Authentic Journalism
GlamourGals Foundation
Tuesday's Children
Viet Dreams Charity
Goss-Michael Foundation
Water Aid
Green Beret Foundation
Water org

Conclusion about tsu

tsu is probably not for everyone. I have found it a great site for those willing to work hard to engage with others and to be very active - if you post infrequently and don't look at other people's posts then you will not earn much.

tsu is a great site for creativity; the site is full of artists, musicians, poets etc. and it is a great place to learn new things and meet like-minded people.

Perhaps the best thing about tsu is the ability to donate all of your earning directly to a charity - even though tsu is a young site, thousands of dollars have been donated to a good cause already.

© 2015 Simon Cook

More by this Author


UnnamedHarald profile image

UnnamedHarald 15 months ago from Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Forgive my ignorance, but based on your description and a cursory look at the site, their FAQ and privacy statement, it reminds me of a sophisticated bubblews. While you don't have to pay to play, your example of someone "reaching" the $100 payout limit and discovering they broke some rule and therefore don't get paid is very scam-like. Why are users not notified when and what rule has been broken and which monies are not put in their "bank". Sure seems convenient to not pay anything and just say "you didn't follow the rules" at the time a user requests a payout. Also, $100 seems to be a pretty large threshold. Just my 2 cents.

SimeyC profile image

SimeyC 15 months ago from NJ, USA Author

The difference is tat Bubblews never were explicit what was allowed - tsu have explicit rules in their FAQs - as I said in the article tsu need to warn people a lot quicker. I was a huge advocate of Bubblews - and in the end believed they were simply naive - tsu is more professional - but they lack in educating people on how not to use the site - and tsu does fail to notify people on joining - so I agree this can seem scam-like - but overall if you compare them with Facebook who earn millions regardless of what you say or do -then tsu is a better alternative...

peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 11 months ago from Home Sweet Home

i can't say tsu is a scam because I have not cash out yet and I doubt so in my million years, from 10 cents, now my earning went back to 1 cent which i don't know why

SimeyC profile image

SimeyC 11 months ago from NJ, USA Author

I'm not really there for the money any more - I'll make payout in a few months probably but most of that will go to charity. I'm using it to try and get feedback on my writing and photographs!

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