It’s been about a year since I started writing on Bubblews.com. The site had some interesting possibilities, and the freedom in posting caught my attention more than anything else. Since the site billed itself as a social network that paid, the appeal increased even more. Of course, a lot can change in a year and it looks it finally has.
First and foremost, Bubblews is not a scam. The site has paid me several times, and while I did not get rich I pulled in enough cash to keep me using the platform. However, things have changed. Still it’s best to start at the beginning.
Bubblews requires users to post articles (call them updates or whatever you want) of at least 400 characters. Like other sites, other users can like the posts and comment on the posts, and even share them via social media like Twitter, Facebook, and more. The site then splits the advertising revenue with the person who posted the article. Sounds simple right? Well, it is, as long as the ads are producing revenue.
The site ran into some problems with fraud. I know it’s hard to imagine a site that is trying to do something good being taken advantage of by users (read: sarcasm), but it happened. Anyway, the staff did what anyone would do, they put regulations regarding cash outs, tried to police the fraud, and made a few other changes.
Once those changes were made there was still the problem of revenue. The basic rule of business applies: If the site isn’t making money, then the users won’t be making money. That meant a change is how earnings were calculated, which meant unhappy users, which is leading to a migration from the site. Who wants to post ten things a day (the maximum allowed) and earn less than a dollar? A dime a post for 400 letters is low but not really unreasonable. The point is if the site was making a lot more money the revenue shared would be higher.
With no respect from search engines, Bubblews is stuck with an in-house type of business model where the users are the ones creating the traffic. Sure some Twitter shares and Facebook shares (which FB has started to eliminate) get some love, but there are no massive spikes to traffic levels. That means limited traffic and limited opportunities.
Basically, Bubblews had existed in an unsustainable business model. You can’t pay out more than you take in, because you would go out of business—quickly. So the site had to risk alienating users in order to stay in business, it’s as simple as that. Revenues are down, so earnings are down.
No one is being forced to use the platform, that’s what makes things so special. I like the concept behind paid social media since users are creating the content for the site. Why shouldn’t they share in the revenue? However, without an effective tracking algorithm or an effective way to monitor fraud there were bound to be bumps in the road, and hopefully Bubblews stays solvent. It’s not a major earner, but it’s a lot of fun.