Should you join Empowr or is it a scam? (review)

Social media is one of the latest frontiers MLM has decided to cross, and Empowr is at the front of that line.

Empowr, “the world’s first democratic social platform”, claims to return its profits to the community of users on their network. Their website talks about how they are “committed to Democracy, Sharing, Sustainability and Justice.”

Their supposed goal is to help half the planet earn $25 a day by 2025. Even the World Bank hasn’t set their sights that high. [1]

Does this mean I’m involved?

This video explains everything:

Make sense? Either way, here’s the full review on Empowr.


Empowr brands themselves as a start-up, but the secret is that they’ve actually been around for quite a while. About 15 years actually, well past start-up shelf life.

They were formerly known as ProjectUplift, formerly known as Fanbox, formerly known as SMS…well, you get the picture. The company has gone through lots of iterations.

It’s pretty common for MLMs to rebrand themselves and come up with a new name when they fail in an attempt to give themselves a clean slate. However, the amount of times Empowr has had to do that in order to run away from negative reviews is pretty astounding.[2]

Their co-founder Michael Cyrus Pousti has written a very self-aggrandizing book called America is an Idea and the American Dream is for Everyone: Why We Built that appears to just be a poorly disguised and poorly written recruitment pamphlet for the company.

Before launching the many faces of what is now called Empowr, Pousti was the founder and CEO of back in the 90s. He also started Higher Educational Resources, Inc. during his final year as a computer engineering student – search engine technology that helped students find financial aid. The corporation became the first company to successfully commercialize internet searching. [3]

So Pousti has been playing the internet business game since it started. In fact, be practically invented it.

How much does Empowr cost?
The app itself is free to join. There are no immediate fees or monthly memberships, and if you never give them your banking information, you never have to pay a penny (although you won’t earn anything, either).

However, as you use the app to post, share, and promote digital content, the company charges you “advertising credits”. You start out with a handful of these credits but will soon run out, at which point the company will charge your bank account or PayPal account seemingly random amounts for these so-called advertising credits.

There’s no explanation as to how these amounts are calculated, but many users report having sporadic amounts of money withdrawn from their bank without their consent. If you have “earnings” (which aren’t real profits), the app will force you to pay exorbitant amounts of these fees before you’re allowed to cash out your earnings.

So while the app is free, actually participating in this program can add up quickly. The worst part is you have no idea how much it’ll add up to until you’re being charged.


Empowr is billed as a completely democratic, user-run social network that gives its profits back to its users.

It’s designed as a platform for advertising and promoting digital content, though, in that they charge you “advertising credits” to post things. Why you would want to pay undisclosed amounts of money to advertise on an app that doesn’t even see a fraction of the traffic that Facebook and Google do and is far less established is beyond me.

Regardless, the social network doesn’t appear to offer anything all that exciting or new. It also doesn’t have very good reviews on iTunes – 2.5 stars overall, and only 1.5 stars for the latest version. [4]


The only thing that seems to be more of a mystery than the cost of the app is their compensation plan.

They claim to have some sort of algorithm that calculates your earnings based on your posts, interaction levels, content, etc, but then they also tell you that you can post anything you want and get paid for it. Users report seeing anywhere from .60 cents to $2 per post in “earnings”, but have no idea how the numbers are calculated.

Empowr reels you in quickly though, with an “earnings” counter that seems to keep adding up regardless of what you do. People will see their earnings get up to $300, $400 after only using the app for several days, and some people even report getting notifications and emails of new earnings that accumulated when they weren’t even using the app.

It’s all smoke and mirrors though, as “earnings” aren’t actual profit. First of all, you have to wait 90 days for your earnings to “mature” – aka you only get paid every 3 months. And the “earnings” number you get is not the amount that will mature at the end of those 3 months. Because as you use this app, the company is also subtracting “advertising credits” from your earnings, and you have to pay those fees before you can cash out your “earnings”.

If you’re lucky, your earnings might be a few bucks higher than what you have to pay in fees, but a lot of users just end up losing money or getting hit with advertising fees they can’t afford to pay.


Empowr may be founded by an internet mogul, but it’s is definitely one of the fishier companies I’ve reviews. Literally nothing is transparent here.

Your earnings? A mystery. Your cost? A mystery. The value of the product? Also a mystery.

Doesn’t really sound like a business venture I want to hedge my bets on.

But if you like automated ways to build passive income, there are better ways.

(and you can trash those old MLM habits, too)

Meet the Author

Jeremy Page

Jeremy Page teaches network marketers (company cheerleaders) how to build a real business. Far from a hater, he still LOLs at 3-way calls and building "downlines". If you like Monday morning conversations with your kids by the pool, you might like this.

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