Revenue share writing site Bubblews closed yesterday to writers, with no warning. The closure is permanent, and will lead to many writers wondering what to do next. They will also want to know what it means for the content that was on the site.
Many writers would say that the closure has been a long time coming, but still shocked many. After three years, and numerous attempts to survive financially, most saw the site trying to hang on as much as possible. However, visitors were treated to a message on the Bubblews homepage which stated that after a difficult decision, the owner Arvind decided it was time to close the doors.
It is no secret that the site has been struggling financially. In January 2015, the site made a shocking announcement that it was going to change the way writers earned. Rather than getting a cent for each like, view and comment, the amount would depend on location. This is because ads outside of the United States do not necessarily pay as much as those within the country. The change also brought the news that any outstanding money owed would not be paid to writers, angering many long-time, loyal fans and seasonal writers.
Soon, it became clear that writers could not reach the $50 minimum to be paid on a weekly basis. The view counter was also removed, which meant it was difficult to see just how much writers were being paid on their work. Bubblews also wanted to move to a more social sharing nature, but that meant writers posting on a regular basis. Many came to the site as a source of residual income, meaning they could post now and then, but continually earn.
The closure of Bubblews came with no warning, and there is very little reported about it online. The only announcement has been on the homepage. Even the community Facebook page did not share any update about the decision to close the site, and nobody has posted since July, 2015. There may have been an announcement from the CEO before the closure, but it is no longer visible.
All articles posted on the site redirect to a 404 error. This means that the work has been removed, and Google will eventually deindex the listings from the search engines. Writers can also request the links to be deindexed sooner. The issue is that some may not have copies of their work. Having copies has always been advised just in case something like this happens. With copies, the work can be posted elsewhere in the future in many cases.
Bubblews started just like many other revenue share websites. In 2012, it opened its doors offering people a place to share what was on their mind and network with others. It was designed to be like Facebook, but with a slight difference; the ability to earn. At first, users only had to reach $25 to request payout, and that could be achieved within a couple of days. After a year, the site increased its minimum, along with the amount of time that it would take to process payout requests.
The site was not without its faults, and did receive some bad press over the years. Writers accused Bubblews of not paying out when money was due. In most cases, the site defended itself saying that writers broke its rules and spammed the site. This was never proven, and writers had no way to fight a decision. In the end, a number of highly prolific writers left, especially once the January changes in. It may be no surprise to some to hear that Bubblews has closed its doors after three years, because it never had the business model needed to survive in the first place.
[Featured Image from Bubblews.com Homepage]