Simple. They revolutionized the webcam modeling market by introducing a new concept: Tokens (or tips) to make money on Free Chat. This new idea brought up by MyFreeCams created controversy in the traditional and more conservative webcam sites, who predicted this experiment’s utter failure from a business point of view. Public shows was completely against the view of seasoned sites like Streamate, LiveJasmin, Cams or ImLive, who didn’t see making money as a possible feat through anything other than private shows: a model in the Free chat, sitting pretty while waiting for a member to take her to a one-on-one, pay-by-the-minute session. For sites like this, MyFreeCams was the heretic that was going to give away the shows. However, the first “tokens” website grew exponentially and ended up being a huge success against all odds.
Then came the second contender on the tokens website fold, Chaturbate. It copied Cam4’s ideas of advertising and functionality: a webcam broadcasting the model’s free show in the middle of the page, and on the borders, advertising banners selling porn videos and photos. It also copied MFC’s token concept, and traffic just poured in with people eager to see public shows. Some bought tokens and others were drawn by the adverts, and thus Chaturbate (along with Cam4) made its money selling ad space and tokens. Double win.
The “issue” with Chaturbate is that it designed a website on Flash, and their image, sound, private messages, active members’ webcams and other chatrooms were too complicated to handle, making the website too “slow”. Building everything with Flash meant not being able to take a step back when the site was brimming with users. It was easier for them to apply temporary solutions and fix problems on the fly, but complications kept coming: website going offline, models and users disconnecting, stats disappearing or not counting private shows, apps and bots constantly failing, models not showing up online, among many others. Solutions? Hard to tell. Making a radical change would mean basically designing a new website from scratch to not make the same mistakes.
MFC’s solution: building a website on Flash for audio and video, and around the “broadcast space” where we see the model there is an interactive universe to handle private messages, emails, popup rooms, other profiles, watch other broadcasts independently, see group chats, hide chats and leave just the broadcast (and vice versa) activate privacy options, send anonymous tips, tips with messages, invisible tips, check stats instantly, and hundreds of other nifty add-ons. Their only obstacle: they didn’t plan their site to be suited for phones and tablets; although this is understandable since when the website was launched 10 years ago, smartphones and tablets weren’t projected to be as popular as they are today.
Sites like BongaCams, FreeWebCams, Camsoda, Camplace and many others are great examples of terrible copycats of successful pages like MyFreeCams and Chaturbate. They are sites that start without thinking “outside the box” and end up, ultimately, being just one more of the bunch, almost doomed to fail.
A hard difference between token sites (MFC and Chaturbate) and private sites (LiveJasmin, Cams, Flirt4Free, etc): a model can make thousands of tokens (thousands of dollars) in a single tip. The picture below shows a 500 thousand tokens tip, equivalent to $25,000. A model in a private site would have to work months to get to that number.
What does a tokens website need in order to be successful?
First and foremost, understand the foundations of its architecture, and secondly the depth of its philosophy. It is of utmost importance to steer it perfectly in both form and function. Lastly, it should adapt to smartphones and tablets. MFC is considerably functional, although visually unappealing due to its simple design. Chaturbate on the other hand, works poorly and is lackluster in terms of browsing and modern design. However, each of them in their own style, are token-selling “machines” and, if any other website wants to have as deep an impact as them, they definitely have to smooth out and perfect the flaws that MFC and CB currently have.
Goals of a tokens website:
- To be website that builds bonds between models and members through a versatile social network.
- To allow communication at every level, without restrictions, to strengthen the bonds of friendship between models and members, members and members, and among models themselves.
- To enable relationships using a sexual hue but without being vulgar, in which sensuality, erotica and sex as an art reign, aside from top notch artistic and entertainment performances. This means take a glamorous profile as MFC does (unlike Cam4 and Chaturbate’s more vulgar style)
- To rely on versatile software that enables communication between everyone online, especially focusing on private messages. It’s paramount to implement them since they are the heart of the whole community and social network.
- To implement integrated apps to the site, that allow the trade of personal information between members and models, as well as sale of videos, photos, wallpapers, Skype, email address, snapchat, and every other alternative tool that the model can use to position and advertise herself better.