I’ve been curious about App.net since it’s inception. When it was announced it made quite the splash!
For those who don’t know, App.net is an alternative to Twitter (a service that’s made some questionable changes of late), that’s subscription-based, ad-free and, up until now, somewhat of a “gated” community.
The subscription format, while keeping them afloat, also crippled the much-needed adoption that the service needed to continue (speculation of course, but at the end of the day you need people to, you know, actually use your service). Well, that all changed today when they added the long-awaited “free tier” to their account offerings.
Thankfully, to the average Twitter user, no. After all, to compete with Twitter you wouldn’t want to reinvent the wheel and luckily they don’t. So don’t worry, the usual ingredients are here: posts (like tweets, only with a 256 character limit), replies, favoriting, reposts (identical to retweets), the developers/API’s aren’t beholden to anyone and there are no limits to development on their platform. Also, and this pretty important: they will never sell your personal data, content, feed, interests, clicks, or anything else to advertisers.
They also have a veritable army of apps for phones, tablets and pretty much every desktop OS out there.
The free account gets you the following:
Yes, it’s limited, but for a lot of people (myself included) this all they will ever want out of the service at first. Let me kick the tires a little, give it a test drive and if the service is worth the time and I need the premium options being sold, of course I’ll subscribe. But I am glad I don’t have to, just to simply get through the door.
So I know they took a good bit to get this point, but as far as I can tell, the wait was worth it. I’ll give a follow-up to this post after I’ve used the service for a few weeks, but I can already tell you this now, if they can get the buy in? Just from the very brief usage, I can tell that Twitter will have a viable competitor on its hands.
And really, at the end of the day? If all else fails, having a good competitor might make Twitter that much better. Everyone wins when these news service rise and compete.
As of today you can only get a free account via and invite from an existing subscribed user. I personally got mine by logging into Twitter (oh the irony) and searching for “app.net”. That brought up a TON of people offering invites!
So go get ‘em folks! Check out the service and find out what all the hubbub is about!