We did it.
— Dalton Caldwell (@daltonc) August 12, 2012
As you can see, App.net just hit their $500,000 funding threshold. They were crowdfunding their start-up cash because they plan to run the service at $50 a year. You sign up, you get your username and they’re permitting folk to port over from Twitter too.
And Twitter needs to realise that a competitor just got funded with half-a-million dollars. And this wasn’t from some venture fund or seed fund, this was from the very people who made Twitter the success it became. They’re the alpha geeks, the encouragers, the networkers, the influencers. And they just sent a half-a-million dollar message to Twitter: U R A DICK.
Twitter started being a bit dickish by buying up some of the best third party clients for Twitter and then killing support for them. They continued by cutting support in those clients for useful services like TwitLonger. They then started plopping adverts into your stream. Then they revamped the iOS client and added a pointless “Discover” tab which drew the ire of everyone. They all but discontinued the best Mac client for Twitter. They’re doubling down on irritating developers and demolishing third party client support and still, after all of this, they’re still struggling for a decent business model – so much so they’ve decided to just sell all of us to the highest bidder.
App.net might make it. They might not. They need to add all sort of things, they need to get new users and they’re going to have a hard time convincing the rank and file out there to part with $50 a year when Twitter is “free-ish”. They need some kick-ass clients out there, they need to be developer friendly and they need to convince the alpha geeks to fork out the extra cash to get family and friends on there. They need to make the mobile web version work really well and they need to make the Android clients sing. They need to integrate as much as possible with existing APIs out there, they need to entice us with easy ways to share our content and, bottom line, provide ways where everyone can win, including third party developers. Give us the permissions to build app.net messages into our games, to protect ourselves from online predators and also to allow us to build micro-communities of interest.
They’ve already got my $50. You can give yours in here.