Make us your home page
Instagram

Facebook lifts ban on content from rival social network Tsu

“We won in the court of public opinion,” said Tsu chief executive Sebastian Sobczak, shown in his company’s New York office. “It feels like we just got a golden stamp of approval.”

Associated Press

“We won in the court of public opinion,” said Tsu chief executive Sebastian Sobczak, shown in his company’s New York office. “It feels like we just got a golden stamp of approval.”

SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook lifted a ban last week that blocked material from Tsu.co, a small rival challenging the world's largest social network's financial dependence on free content shared by its 1.5 billion users.

The reversal comes a month after the Associated Press published a story airing concerns that Facebook might be abusing its power to thwart competition and stifle the concept advanced by Tsu that people should be paid for the stories and images that they post on social networks.

"We won in the court of public opinion," Tsu CEO Sebastian Sobczak said. "When you have something new and novel in the market like what we are doing, this kind of validation is extremely important. It feels like we just got a golden stamp of approval."

The dispute between one of the Internet's most powerful companies and Tsu began in late September when Facebook removed nearly 10 million posts containing links and other references to Tsu (pronounced "soo"). Facebook also blocked attempts to post anything else that sent traffic to Tsu.co, both on the pages of its social network or on in its popular Messenger and Instagram applications.

Tsu's ouster stemmed from its practice of sharing ad revenue with its users. The payments are based on how many people read their posts.

Facebook decided Tsu's payments represented a financial incentive for people to share links on its network, something the Menlo Park, Calif., company says it prohibits because it believes the practice pollutes its service with the digital rubbish known as "spam."

Sobczak contends Facebook hoped to destroy an upstart trying to popularize the idea that people should get paid for posts that help sell advertising. Facebook has built a highly profitable company with a market value of $300 billion, partly because it doesn't pay for the material that keeps people and advertisers coming to its social network.

The two sides resolved their differences with a truce that required New York-based Tsu.co to remove a feature that allowed its users to share content directly to Facebook with one click on an app. Now Tsu.co users have to go through several extra steps to transfer their posts to Facebook, or just copy and paste a link.

The concession prompted Facebook to restore the Tsu posts that had previously been erased from its social network and allow additional material from Tsu, which has nearly 5 million users. Tsu links can also be circulated on Instagram and Facebook's Messenger app.

Facebook spokeswoman Melanie Ensign described the circumstances surrounding Tsu's two-month ban as a "miscommunication."

Tsu user Claudia Everest said she was pleased to recover hundreds of her dog drawings that had been deleted from her Facebook page during the tiff between the two social networks. She fears the restored links to the sketches that sell for $30 apiece won't attract as much traffic as they might otherwise have because they date to months ago and are now buried in her Facebook feed.

Despite that frustration, Everest is pleased Facebook and Tsu have settled their differences.

"I believe that despite all the social networks looking to make money and therefore being in direct competition, there are benefits to everyone if there is a certain amount of sharing between sites," Everest wrote in an email.

Facebook lifts ban on content from rival social network Tsu 12/11/15 [Last modified: Friday, December 11, 2015 6:31pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Carrollwood fitness center employs scientific protocol to help clients

    Business

    In 2005, Al Roach and Virginia Phillips, husband and wife, opened 20 Minutes to Fitness in Lakewood Ranch, and last month they opened the doors to their new location in Carrollwood.

    Preston Fisher, a personal fitness coach at 20 Minutes To Fitness, stands with an iPad while general manager/owner Angela Begin conducts an equipment demonstration. The iPad is used to track each client's information and progress. I also included one shot of just the equipment. The center recently opened in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser.
  2. Olive Tree branches out to Wesley Chapel

    Business

    WESLEY CHAPEL — When it came time to open a second location of The Olive Tree, owners John and Donna Woelfel, decided that Wesley Chapel was the perfect place.

    The Olive Tree expands its offerings of "ultra premium?€ extra virgin olive oils (EVOO) to a second location in Wesley Chapel. Photo by Danielle Hauser.
  3. Massachusetts firm buys Tampa's Element apartment tower

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — Downtown Tampa's Element apartment tower sold this week to a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company that plans to upgrade the skyscraper's amenities and operate it long-term as a rental community.

    The Element apartment high-rise at 808 N Franklin St. in downtown Tampa has been sold to a Northland Investment Corp., a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company. JIM DAMASKE  |  Times
  4. New York town approves Legoland proposal

    News

    GOSHEN, N.Y. — New York is one step closer to a Lego dreamland. Goshen, a small town about fifty miles northwest of the Big Apple, has approved the site plan for a $500 million Legoland amusement park.

    A small New York town, Goshen approved the site plan for a $500 million Legoland amusement park. Legoland Florida is in Winter Haven. [Times file  photo]
  5. Jordan Park to get $20 million makeover and new senior housing

    Real Estate

    By WAVENEY ANN MOORE

    Times Staff Writer

    ST. PETERSBURG —The St. Petersburg Housing Authority, which bought back the troubled Jordan Park public housing complex this year, plans to spend about $20 million to improve the 237-unit property and construct a new three-story building for …

    Jordan Park, the historic public housing complex, is back in the hands of the St. Petersburg Housing Authority. The agency is working to improve the 237-unit complex. But the latest plan to build a new three-story building for seniors will mean 31 families have to find new homes. [LARA CERRI   |   Tampa Bay Times]