Day traders just got their own social network, Tip’d Off, which is billing itself as a “platform where peers can help you make money in the stock market,” but looks like an awful iteration of financial Twitter (h/t Ben Walsh at Huffington Post).
Tip’d Off wants access to your brokerage accounts to solve a non-problem
People have been swapping trade ideas and following tips online (often to their own detriment) for decades, with message boards, forums, and now Twitter, Seeking Alpha… you get the idea. People like to talk their book for the obvious reason that if people agree with them it helps them make money. But there are a couple of strange differences that separate Tip’d Off from the crowd (aside from the promo video, yikes).
“On other sites, people can post tips and discuss stocks, but you don’t know what trades they’re actually making,” the company writes again and again in slightly different ways. The implication is that people might spend a lot of time talking up stocks that they claim to own when they really don’t, or something. They don’t explain why a person would actually do this.
To solve that non-problem, you are supposed to connect your brokerage account to Tip’d Off so that it can verify what trades you’re making and what stocks you hold so that other people can keep tabs on what you’re doing. You won’t actually be able to make trades through the Tip’d Off platform, probably because of compliance issues, but you’ll be able to see what stocks are trending among the traders you follow. And if enough people follow you, Tip’d Off will start paying you as well.
Tip’d Off targets unsophisticated investors
What’s really disturbing about Tip’d Off is that it’s so obviously aimed at new traders who may not realize that constant activity is one of the best ways to lose money, and who are easier prey for the pump-and-dump types that you would expect to populate such a site.
As for how Tip’d Off plans to make money, the company says that they are following a freemium model: users will be able to sign up for a basic account for free, and then there will be additional features that they can choose to pay for, though they’re not yet ready to say exactly what those features will be.
Update: This article was updated to reflect that Tip’d Off intends to monetize their platform with a freemium model. A previous version speculated that it would sell demographic data to advertisers like many other social networks.