Recently, there has been much talk about the growth of a new social media network for gamers called eFuse. That said, most people don’t know what eFuse is.
What is eFuse? eFuse is a social media site catering to gamers and aspiring professionals in the esports space. This platform mimics LinkedIn’s format and functionality but specifically caters to a gamer demographic. The platform allows users to display their work experience as well as their status in various games.
That was a quick overview of what eFuse is in essence, but there is a lot to unpack here. Throughout this article, I will be further explaining how eFuse is intended to work, how it’s currently being used, its future and why you may consider leveraging it as a social media platform.
An Overview of eFuse
eFuse was a startup company founded by Matthew Benson, who’s been renowned by Forbes as a Forbes 30 under 30. The idea behind the platform is to become a central hub for all things that may interest a gamer. This includes updates from fellow gamers and streamers, the ability to connect with professional and grassroots esports organizations, following updates from said organizations, discovering new tournaments and networking events, and learning ways to enter into the esports industry as a professional through job postings and the ability to network.
eFuse’s main selling proposition versus a competitor such as LinkedIn is the fact that it’s specifically centred around gaming. This aspect proved very appealing to investors as the platform recently generated over $6 million in post-seed capital funding. That fact shows a promising future for the company’s long-term (we will talk more about that below).
The main functionality of eFuse is the ability to create “posts” to be shared in the “lounge” (basically your main feed). These posts can be scheduled, max out at 1,500 words, may include a single image/GIF/video and informs the poster on how many views that specific post received. Additionally, posts aren’t “liked” as traditional social media, but instead include functionality called “hype”. With “hype”, a person liking a post has a period of about 4 seconds in which they can spam the “hype” button (either through mouse spam or rapidly taping your phone) and generate more hypes for the post (basically more likes). Hypes cannot be undone after being performed.
Additionally, posting daily creates a “Daily Streak”, which gives you a higher priority in the lounge, rewarding users with greater discoverability the longer you consistently use the platform. Due to the scheduling feature, losing a streak is fairly difficult.
The other main feature of the platform is the Opportunities page. Within it comes four main categories: events, jobs, team openings and scholarships. You can filter for the specific category that interests you. Once you find an opportunity you’d like to pursue, you can click on it to learn more and even register for said opportunity on the website itself. This functionality is something present in LinkedIn, although arguable eFuse is not only focusing specific on gaming categories, but it seems like they did a much better job with their on-site opportunities overall.
The Discover page is pretty simplistic in its usage and functionality. Basically, you can go to the page to see what top organizations are on the platform in addition to a news tab that specifically discusses game updates, esports-related news, podcast releases and general blog posts. Currently, the Discover page news tab is very unimpressive and likely fairly underused as well. In the image below, the main Discover page is to the left and the news tab is to the right.
The last part of the whole website is your own personal profile. What’s neat about the profile is that you can add your education, connect your other social media, but also connect your other game-specific accounts, Xbox account, PSN, Battle.net and Twitch. The platform evidently caters to the gaming demographic by allowing them to be a strong personality on a social media platform all while providing everyone with the access to connect with them on any game or other social media. It’s worth noting that Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp aren’t an option to connect on your profile (all owned by Facebook, Inc.), although it’s understandable that eFuse may not want to disclose your phone number and most gamers don’t use Facebook anyway.
The Current State of eFuse
The platform currently is in its beta phase and boyyy does it have its problem. The most noticeable problem you will encounter is the number of bugs, which is to be expected of a new platform. From losing your daily streak prematurely to having your scheduled posts disappearing and the notification log being the worst of it. These are all things that will be fixed in due time, but coming across these as a current user is a nuisance at best.
Beyond that though, the platform’s userbase is small but is growing (I’m guessing anywhere from 30,000 to 80,000 current users based on followers to the main eFuse organization as a reference point). Not being a finished product, upon launch and onwards will you start seeing a spike in growth as you invest more money into marketing and launch their product-launch marketing campaign. While using the platform at the moment usually results in about 50 to 500 views per post (at least for me and some of my colleagues who’ve been experimenting on the platform), the benefit that comes from using the platform currently is building up your Daily Streak.
In terms of views, the algorithm is very obviously super dependant on hypes for views. On posts that I personally don’t hype my content I tend to get 0 to 50 views, and once I do I get 100 to 150. If I get organic hypes or have my colleagues hype it as well, I get about 300 to 500 views (this is consistent on my colleague’s posts as well).
In addition to all that, the people who are currently using the platform are 80% just trying to promote their stream and become professional streamers. As a result, people are posting their vods, posting their twitch metrics and whatnot. Some people may enjoy that, especially the vods, but for someone like myself it feels pointless to scroll down on my feed because I don’t care for gaming as much as I’d like to see esports-business related content or the news of what’s going on in esports (and as we mentioned earlier, the actual News tab isn’t great). Besides, if I wanted to watch gaming clips, I’d jump onto Twitch or YouTube and watch someone I know I’d enjoy.
I’m not sure if the company will look to overcome this (if they even see it as an issue) and if so, how, but in it’s current state the lounge is a lot more of a self-promotion dump than it is a news feed I’d like to check it in the morning or during lunch at work. That said, in the future if more prominent figures join the platform, a simple solution for someone like myself would be just following them and filtering my lounge to exclude organic results.
The Future of eFuse
As we mentioned earlier, eFuse is currently in beta and has a lot of expendable capital from investors. Considering how much investors believed in a company with a CEO who is exceptionally young, in a market where new social media sites keep coming and going and with their handful of strong employees such as Neil Duffy, I have strong confidence that eFuse’s USP (being targeted to gamers) will make it not only a platform here to stay, but also a fairly big one.
There’s much the company still needs to do from a backend and marketing standpoint but assuming they play their cards right, this could actually become pretty big in gaming and esports. That said, new companies trying to take down Twitch have been coming up by the dozen (a great example is Microsoft’s Mixer)and all have really failed to dethrone it besides YouTube and Facebook only merely sharing a small portion of the market share only because they already had an existing market that just is reusing their platforms. Social media is a high rewards business model, but as a result, it’s super cutthroat and most fail.
Why You May Consider Using eFuse
In its current state, there isn’t an exceptional amount you have to gain from eFuse. If you are, however, looking to promote your company, brand, stream or become an influencer of some sort, regularly posting on eFuse today (even if they are random garbage scheduled posts), that will build you a streak to increase your organic discoverability a few months or even years down the line.
For that reason, I’m building out my own streak. From a personal resource perspective, it’s fairly easy to sit down one day and pump out a ton of scheduled content to last a month. From there you don’t even have to hype anything or use the platform (but know your content will get less than 50 views if you aren’t personally logging on and hyping your own content). I see it as a high reward low-risk situation.
Not to mention that if you are interested in playing in tournaments, joining different networking events, looking at job opportunities or finding local scholarships, eFuse lets you do all that on their platform itself. I personally haven’t used that feature enough to be able to say how great or useful it is, but if that’s of interest, it’s free for you to create an account and check it out.
In conclusion, eFuse is a new platform with an innovative gaming focus applied to LinkedIn. It still has a lot of growth and may not succeed as a company, but this could also be an industry disrupter waiting to happen.