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App.net: A paid real-time social platform that shouldn't seem as crazy as it does


August 10, 2012

App.net is to social media what Amazon Web Services is to the rest of the web

App.net is to social media what Amazon Web Services is to the rest of the web

Can you imagine a service like Twitter without advertising, spammers and URL shorteners? Without clunky official clients, and without hostility towards the third-party ecosystem? The 12 strong team at App.net can, and they think enough people are willing to pay for such a service to make it work.

"Our philosophy is that we are pipes pushing bits," says App.net founder Dalton Caldwell. In other words, App.net is to social media what Amazon Web Services is to the rest of the web - a platform for you to build your application on (making the App.net name itself sheer genius). And unlike Twitter, you're not likely to have your business model implemented as an official feature or just be an unwanted nuisance.

Instead of using Kickstarter to raise the required $500,000, the team built its own crowd-funding system and is currently 68% of the way to the goal with three days left on the clock, thanks to over 4,800 backers.

My words do this concept little justice, so I urge you to read Caldwell's blog posts - What Twitter could have been - and the follow up - Announcing an audacious proposal.

If you're keen to back the project and secure your username, you can do so at join.app.net.

Caldwell discusses the thinking behind App.net in the following video.

About the Author
Tim Hanlon Tim originally came to Gizmag as a developer, much to the dismay of anyone who had to maintain, build on, or rewrite his code. After wearing every other hat that didn't have a head for it, he became CEO in 2010. Outside Gizmag, he trains Muay Thai and plays too much Destiny. All articles by Tim Hanlon

Chicken/egg. I am not going to join something until enough people join it, I certainly am not going to pay for something that no one is using. I think this product could develop a cult like status, but marketing, spam and what not will make its way into it. I'll stick to Facebook for now.

Michael Mantion

So they are basically cloning the Facebook news feed and oauth/permissions system?

As an app publisher, Facebook is free to integrate with; app.net charges money. Facebook has many users looking at the news feed; these guys have few users, and little incentive to look at the essentially app/game only feed. Even twitter provides oauth and story publishing, and has even more eyeballs to encourage people to try your app.

I can't see what theses guys are offering thats at all of value to a developer; and they are charging for it!

Mark Churchill
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