By Chelsea Riffe
I’ve always wondered about how many hours I spend on social media a week. I browse at work, in class, at night, in the morning. What if I could actually get PAID for my time instead of wasting it? Well, now you can… kind of. The social site Bubblews pays its users to post. The catch: they get paid for watching ads. It has the same actions as Twitter and Facebook, where you can post, like, and comment. But the difference is its purpose.
Invented by CEO Arvind Dixit and President Jason Zuccari. It actually came about in 2012, but the two were extremely embarrassed by how it looked.
Figure 1: Mashable.com
The good news is they recently redesigned the platform to be more visually appealing and less “spammy”.
Figure 2: Mashable.com
Why did these two think to pay their users? According to Dixit (2014), “It’s just kind of been drilled that people are the product and [companies] can do whatever the hell they want with you” (para. 7). They think that if a site is generating user-based content, then the users should get paid.
But what exactly does “getting paid” mean? The starting rate isn’t exactly the number people get excited over. According to Dixit (2014), “The going rate for receiving a like, comment or unique view is roughly $0.01, but rare power users are making ‘a couple thousand’ dollars per month’” (para. 5). The couple thousand sounds appealing, and you’re rewarded for your time and contribution.
As with any start-up, there are setbacks that Bubblews are currently facing. The network currently only has about 200,000 users, astronomically behind in numbers compared to what Facebook and Twitter have. They also do not have a mobile app, something basically required to be able to succeed in today’s start-up world. They are coming out with one later this year, but Dixit says it’s not an actual full-blown app, but rather a mobile product that compliments the network. And naturally, there are trolls that create bots that can automatically jack up the number of likes, comments, and UMVs on their content, paying them out more. Bubblews cracks down on those users, but unfortunately, they still exist.
The content posting is also a lot different from Facebook and Twitter. Twitter only allows 140-characters, where Facebook allows for unlimited characters. Bubblews actually has a 400-character minimum. This makes the user post longer pieces, which doesn’t seem too bad, unless you are an individual that despises lengthy pieces of content.
Although it’s in its beginning phases, it’s an interesting take on social media with its revenue sharing model. Users get paid to watch ads – isn’t that being better than forced to watch them as we are today? What do you think – will you be a Bubblews-er soon?