If you’re immersed in the online social media world enough, you might have heard of “App.net” or at least scrolled by a news headline on one of your feeds. What most don’t know is that many of us techies and developers are really excited about it!
What is App.net?
On the surface it looks like a 2008 version of Twitter that you have to pay for. The short answer is no one knows what App.net will become yet. What it becomes is up to the developers and users.
The longer answer is focused around Twitter and Facebook’s customers. These are mainly the advertisers. All of the rest of us are part of the product. Since we’re not the customers, we don’t have much say into what Twitter and Facebook choose to do with their service.
You hate the new Timeline view? Too bad! What are you going to do about it? Stop using Facebook? Probably not. More than often users will use Facebook to complain about Facebook and then forget about how much they hate timeline 2 weeks later. Facebook knows this.
App.net’s main goal is to have a service that doesn’t rely on advertisers to keep it alive. Now that the users are the customers, we have a large say in what we want App.net to become. That excites developers to no end.
A New Playground
Imagine that you’re in elementary school and every few days they add a new thing to the playground. That’s what App.net is like right now for developers. As a developer myself I’m constantly thinking of different projects I could create with this service. While I’d be developing it, I would have tons of great feedback from random users on the service, which as of this writing is around 19,000+ users.
Because of the $50/year fee ($100/year for developers), most of the people using the service are exited about using it. I personally find watching the global feed mesmerizing. The quality of posts on App.net are far superior than Twitter’s global feed. I like to compare it to paying a little bit more rent to live in a nicer neighborhood.
Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer’s “developers” hype is what I’m currently noticing with App.net. There are already many applications that developers have created to work with the service including mobile apps, desktop apps, web tools, and more! So many of them seem to be in a race to make the next cool App.net “thing”, yet they all seem to be helping each other out.
The App.net community is growing fast and more users are coming on board every day, so fast that developers can’t write the code fast enough!
If you’re interested in learning more about App.net, head over to http://join.app.net and watch the video and read up on the features. App.net is definitely not for everyone yet, but I have a feeling once developers start creating some creative applications, more and more people will be willing to pay more rent to live in the nicer neighborhood that is App.net.
Thanks again for reading! You can follow me on App.net via @joshjones to see what I’m up to over there.