Beacons debuts a ‘link in bio’ mobile website builder that helps creators make money, not just list links – TechCrunch

Today, there are many website creators aimed at creators who want to point fans to a dedicated landing page from their social media profiles. If you’ve spent any time on TickTalk or Instagram, you’ve probably come across one of these “simplified” links to “bio” -style websites – such as those hosted by Linktree, for example. A new startup called Beacon “Link in bio” is now entering this market with the goal of making websites even more powerful. Its website builder offers creators an expanded set of tools to monetize their community, including donations, sales, payment requests, affiliate shopping, and more.

After signing up for the service, Beacon The user walks through a series of questions, many that can be answered with just one “yes” or “no”. For example, Beacon can ask the user if they want to accept donations or collect followers’ emails, if they make a TickTalk or YouTube video, and in which category they are on the subject.

This information is used to set up their beacons landing page with the correct content sections, called beacons “blocks”. At launch, Beacons has about a dozen of these configured blocks, including email and SMS archive modules, video embed blocks for TicTalk or YouTube creators, music blocks to embed a track or album, a tweet or Twitter profile Provides a Twitter block to, and Twitter profiles and Twitter profiles. Link blocks, among others, similar to Linktree.

There is even a “Friends” block, much like a modern-day MySpace Top 8. With this you can link your friends on Beacons, Instagram, Twitter or TickTalk.

One area where Beacon differs from other “link in bio” website builders, however, is with its “demonetization” block. Today, it has four tools for creators who want to generate revenue from their online presence. One of them is similar Cameo, As it allows the manufacturer to set up a menu of options for taking fan requests for individual content. For example, fans can ask a fitness-affected person to criticize their routine, or they can pay to answer their burning questions with praise from someone. The producer can then send a personal response either publicly or privately.

Other monetization blocks allow creators to accept donations or sell digital downloads – for example e-books or paid video content.

Image Credit: Beacon

The fourth, and perhaps most interesting, demonetization block is a Tiktok shopping facility. This allows creators to embed their TeakTalk videos where they recommend products directly on their Beacons website. From here, they can add affiliate links to the products in question, allowing them to receive revenue when fans purchase items directly.

This particular feature arrives at an opportune time. Today, TikTok is only beginning to formalize its plans around e-commerce. In a recent presentation to marketers, TikTok talked about its plan to launch new online shopping tools that would allow brands to reach TikTok’s younger audience more directly. Tiktok also has Partnered with Shopify On social commerce, and has experimented with live video shopping, including A holiday event organized by walmart.

But the makers of Tiktok are already increasing the buying trend in the same categories as Fashion, Beauty, home decor, household items, Toys And much more, at this point “TikTok bought me this,” The impulse induced by TikTok’s viral content has become a common excuse for purchase. Allowing these trends to creators now more directly and financially is the next logical step.

Image Credit: Beacon

The idea for Beacons comes from co-founders Neil Jean, Jessie Zhang, Greg Lupescu and David Zeng. Neil, Jessie and David met at a PhD program at Stanford in various areas of research such as machine learning and AI. Meanwhile, Greg did his master’s at Stanford, then worked on Apple in the Apple Watch team.

Neil, Jessie and David teamed up at Beacons and went through the Y Combinator Summer 2019 batch, running on ideas and pivoting the product multiple times. Some of those early concepts may come back in the end – such as a shop integration that would connect creators with brands they sell on Shopify, for example.

However, the widespread focus has always been on helping creators make money, Neil says.

“Even before our current product, we were really focused on helping creators solve demonetization,” he explains. “When we built this mini-axis into a more Linktree-like product, we thought about building features that could help the creators actually generate revenue – which I don’t think anyone in Linktree or Space There were also existing incumbents. Even today, you can’t really make any money through Linktree.

Linktree is, of course, one of the many “links in bio” websites on the market today, which means that beacons don’t have to face very Of competition. Other rivals include Linkin.bio, Lnk.bio, Broth, Tap, Feedlink.io, Link in profile, Milkshake, Campsite, Bio, url.bio And biolincs.me, for example.

Unlike some of its rivals, Beacon offers its devices for free and earns through one instead Premium plan ($ 10 / mo) that allows creators to use their own custom domain. It also makes money by taking a percentage of sales on requests and sales blocks, which is either 9% on the free plan or 5% on the payment plan. This review share does not bring a lot of money today – just “hundreds” of dollars – but the team believes that as the startup grows and acquires a larger user base.

“Our strategy is … for creators to continue building these different types of revenue streams,” Neil says. “And as we do so, I think, the share of transaction revenue will be higher relative to higher revenue than it is today.”

Since launching in private beta last September, Beacons has seen 90,000 sign-ups and now has more than 20,000 people, considered active users of the product – most arrived in the last few months when the service launched some of its new features set out on. . So far, Beacon has not paid any, with almost 77% of new users coming to Beacon because they saw it on someone else’s profile.

The team raised a small, post-YC angel round of about $ 600,000, but is looking to fundraise in the future.