We’ve made some changes to backing and wanted to run through them as well as explain a little bit more about supporting Submit and why we offer it and what the differences are between non-backers and backers.
First, and most importantly: Submit is free to use for everyone, backing is never expected or required.
The reality is running a social media platform is expensive! Even today, while we’re still in early access, we rack up some impressive infrastructure expenses. Naturally, somehow we’ve got to cover those expenses, and when building a platform like this you have two primary choices:
The first option is the most common option and nearly every social network that you see today engages in advertising and some combination of selling user data. Some platforms also do both, sell premium features alongside advertising, and some let you also buy out of being advertised too entirely.
One of our core goals in building Submit is that it is privacy-first. For us, that meant that we wanted to do everything possible to avoid advertising as that more often than not leads to some dark patterns and bad practices. So we focused on option number two, creating a set of features that users can pay for.
We look at backing as a way to provide support for our mission and goals, enabling us to provide a safer, more inclusive, and open social networking platform for the BDSM, fetish, and kinky communities. Our way of saying thank you for helping us achieve that goal is by providing you with a set of features, customizations and increased limits to improve your experience on Submit.
This is a question that we get asked from time to time, and it’s something that we’ve thought about long and hard! The first thing to understand is Submit’s operating expenses are covered for the next 2+ years - we have enough money to support our team, the platform, and its continued growth.
First, I strongly believe that we can generate enough revenue from the community by providing a place that they actually want to be, to support it existing (and to be able to support a small team to manage it). This belief isn’t based on me just thinking it up one day, but based on serious research and a deep understanding of the market.
Second, Submit has its own advanced content moderation system, a technology that we specifically built for Submit. As we prove out the technology that powers our content moderation, we will eventually license it out to other companies both in and out of the adult space. This will continue to help support the development and operation of the platform. This however, is not an immediate solution and is one that won’t generate revenue for at least a year and a half.
Between backers and the eventual ability to license out some of our technology, we feel good about the prospects of being able to run a platform that can support itself. If we ever feel like this isn’t the case, we’ll be up-front about it and bring the community into the conversation about how we can make changes and ensure that Submit is able to continue to achieve our mission and goals.
We also want to mention that we already have a truly incredible group of humans that have become backers and support Submit today, and as that group continues to grow, we’re starting to be able to validate the model that we knew would be possible.
If you aren’t a backer, we don’t introduce arbitrary limits that ruin your experience - things like endlessly scrolling through your feed, exploring content, sharing content, messaging, and more are all unrestricted for everyone. The only hard restriction that exists is around video content, non-educational video content can only be viewed by backers, currently.
If you do choose to become a backer, in addition to being able to view all video content on the platform, we provide a set of additional features, increased limits, and deeper customization options that improve your experience. You can read about you get by becoming a backer on our Backer page.
We continue to adjust and explore the backer model, and today we’re announcing two changes.
With new features rolling out, and more and more of you starting to get active on Submit - now is a great time to become a backer and help support the platform and our mission of building an inclusive, safe and privacy-first space for all humans to share and explore.
If you aren’t on the platform today, backing gets you access immediately, and with Backer codes now enabled, these make great gifts too! Backers also get unique profile badges and achievements, additional features, and we continue to add more ways to reward those who do decide to back.
If you’re considering backing and are comfortable using Venmo (@submitgg) or Cashapp ($submitgg), we need your help testing out our new banking integrations with these services! They are much better than Patreon (fees wise), but please use whatever you’re comfortable with. When sending to these accounts, please only put your waitlist email in the comment! If you do use Venmo/Cashapp, we offer a bit of a discount on some tiers too:
Patreon prices are listed on our backer page.
We give 3% of all revenue to Charity, you can learn more on our backer details page. I’ve personally pledged to match our Revenue up to $50k - if we hit that goal before August 14th, I will double my personal pledge and match up to $100k of our 2023 revenue, and I would be absolutely thrilled to see that happen.