Tsū (social network)

This article is about the social networking service. For the Japanese aesthetic, see Iki (aesthetics).
Type of business Private
Type of site
Social networking service
Available in English
Founded July 1, 2013 (2013-07-01)
Headquarters New York City, New York, US
Area served Worldwide
  • Sebastian Sobczak
  • Drew Ginsburg
  • Thibault Boullenger
Key people Sebastian Sobczak
Drew Ginsburg
(VP Business Development)
Industry Internet
Website www.tsu.co
Alexa rank Global 4,256 (As of 11 November 2015).[1]
Current status closed
Written in Ruby, Redis, and Cassandra

Tsū was an online social networking service founded in October 2013. Tsū was created by Evacuation Complete, LLC, a Texas corporation, which was founded on February 7, 2008.[2] Founders of Evacuation Complete are Sebastian Sobczak, Drew Ginsburg, and Thibault Boullenger,[3] and the site is headquartered in New York City. Tsū was open by invitation only.[4] The site went "dark" in August 2016.

Like Facebook, after registering to use the site, users were able to create a personal profile, add other users as friends, exchange messages, post status updates and photos, and receive notifications when others updated their profiles.[4] Tsu differentiated itself from competitors by allowing its users to maintain ownership of their content.[5]

The inspiration for Tsū came from the story of Ed O'Bannon, the lead plaintiff in O'Bannon v. NCAA, an antitrust class action lawsuit against the National Collegiate Athletic Association regarding the association's use of the images of former student athletes for commercial purposes.[6]

Unlike other social networking sites, Tsu paid its members a share of its ad revenue for posting and sharing content. The chance to earn money from social networking led to an early explosion of numbers joining the site.[7] The membership structure was akin to a MLM or multi-level marketing scheme, where members recruit pyramids of members beneath them from whom they receive a share of commission. The payout threshold was $100. Members were encouraged to donate their earnings to charity.

In September 2015, Facebook blocked links to the site,[8] citing complaints that Tsu members were spamming to recruit members. Tsū speculated this was motivated by fear of competition.[9] In December 2015, Facebook lifted the prohibition.[10][11]


Although membership grew explosively on launch, it did not last. The likely reason is that too many members joined to make money rather than for the social network, and membership declined swiftly when earnings did not live up to expectations.[12]


Tsu "went dark" on August 2, 2016, its front page being replaced with a message from Sobczak stating that "our mission of changing the social landscape for the benefit of the content creator has passed" and that users would have until August 31 to download their content.[13]


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