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On Your Side: Getting paid to post through local Westside app

On Your Side: Getting paid to post through local Westside app
On Your Side: Getting paid to post through local Westside app 04:16

Getting paid to post! A new app is allowing businesses to bypass the multi-billion-dollar online ad market in favor of paying customers directly to post about their product. And users say they can make hundreds, even thousands of dollars doing so.

Already hundreds of local businesses have signed up for the Thumzup app. It's a more affordable way for small businesses to advertise. And users can now have a side hustle by simply telling their friends about the places they go.

Pam Cox opened her store Hallowed Ground in Marina Del Rey just a few months before the Covid shutdown.

"As we opened up at the end of 2019, and we are a new business, we definitely needed some help to get people to come into our doors," said Cox.

Enter the Thumzup app. It allows users to cash in on the places they patronize. Creator Robert Steele lives in Los Angeles, and launched the app late last year on the Westside.

"Thumzup is the only way that we know of for a brand or a business to easily pay people to post about their brand or business on social media," said Steele.

Here's how it works: A business signs up with the app for an advertising campaign. Consumers who download the app can then seek out that business and visit. Once they post a photo and caption through the app, which automatically posts to their Instagram account, they get paid by the business via Venmo or PayPal.

Some may pay just a few bucks. Hallowed Ground pays $10 per post.

"Some are up to 25 or 50," said Alvina Judkins, a working artist who uses Thumzup as a side hustle.

"I started off making about $50 to $75 a week, and I am up to about $500 a week, but potentially I haven't even hit half the businesses," said Judkins.

And how much time does that take for you?

"I just do it on the weekends, so I only do it for maybe four to six hours," said Judkins.

Pam Cox says her revenue grew by 40 percent in the first five months of using Thumzup.

"Even if they don't have as many followers, who are their followers? [They] are people who are their friends, who trust them and their opinions, and so that's more valuable to me than an influencer," said Cox.

But can you trust what's essentially a paid ad?

"So what we have found is that people take their Instagram very seriously, so they actually won't put something on their Instagram that they don't feel represents their personal brand," said Robert Steele.

Thumzup is only on the Westside right now, but they plan to expand to other parts of Southern California and throughout the country.

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