Short Takes: Chime.in Offers Dollars for Data

Bill Gross, a serial entrepreneur who tried to purchase Tweetdeck earlier this year before losing out to Twitter, has launched Chime.in, a revenue-sharing social site. The website offers users a “chimeline” that aggregates posts, photos and videos and organizes them according to topics, time posted and clicks. Top users are allowed to keep all of the advertising revenue from their pages if they are able to sell their own ads; they receive 50 percent of revenues if Chime.in places the ads for them.

This revenue model hasn’t worked very well in the past; in the ’90s, pay-to-surf models failed as did most pay-per-post startups. This time around, the landscape is different. Consumers are spending much of their day online, posting intimate details about brand preferences, their lifestyles and favorite content online and off. That’s highly valuable data, and consumers don’t receive anything for their freely posted content. Social media companies make billions off display ads, and in an era that has consumers becoming more accustomed to asserting their personal power, Chime.in might just have a chance.

The big idea is that Chime.in will draw not only Facebook and Twitter power users but also their followers and their valuable data and user-generated content. Even if the company is able to pull a tiny percentage of Facebook’s or Twitter’s top contributors, the company can establish itself as a viable alternative to the three-player social media system. Chime.in was released in the iTunes store on Monday.
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