Facebook vs. Tsu-Co

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By: Ann Wang


unnamedRecently, Facebook has made the controversial decision to block a possible competitor from appearing on their website.

Tsu.co is an invite-only platform that rewards social activity such as sharing phones, video and other content with your friends and followers. Though this social media website seems to have no connection with Facebook, it appears that it is blocked by Facebook, even when chatting on Messenger.

Facebook blocks any Tsu.co links, pictures, and videos, and has deleted all the posts mentioning Tsu.co (over a million). According to Facebook, Tsu links are spam that are annoying the community.

On the other hand, Tsu thinks Facebook is trying to avoid competition in this way. “You can type in all sorts of seedy websites, and you can get to them. But not us. We don’t exist,” said the upset Sebastian Sobczak, the Tsu founder.

Unlike the social media giant such as Facebook,Tsu is a breathing new network. It is quite special because of sharing the advertising revenue with users. Tsu only keeps 10% of the total profits from ads displayed on users’ pages, while users themselves keep 45%. The chain of friends being invited split the rest.

With a financial incentive to post information, invite people, and direct people, the Facebook feed could easily be flooded with Tsu.co links.

This is exactly what Facebook was concerned about- and what happened. Tsu users were creating fake accounts to boost their pages, while Facebook received reports saying Tsu.co links were spam. According to Facebook, spam is defined as “sending bulk messages, excessively posting links … and sending friend requests to people you don’t know personally.”

In the end, Facebook cut off Tsu.co on September 25.

Each side stands on its own feet. Tsu argues that it hasn’t violated Facebook’s terms of service because it did not pay users to push content to Facebook.

Facebook continues to enforce its decision. “We do not allow developers to incentivize content sharing on our platform because it encourages spammy sharing,” said Melanie Ensign, a Facebook spokesperson.

According to interviews by CNNMoney questioning Tsu users, users believe Tsu is a equitable pay-for-content program. Most of them haven’t made a dime yet, but they still feel this Facebook block is unfair. Carolina Franco, a 28-year-old model in Colombia, believes Facebook has just attempted to block its competitor. “I don’t believe that Facebook and Instagram want Tsu to go viral. It would cost them a lot of money.”

 

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