App.net was an ad-free online social networking service and microblogging service which enabled its users to write messages of up to 256 characters. App.net provided their own web interface to the service, Alpha, which was used by some users. However, they encouraged use and development of third-party applications.
Type of site
|Social networking service, microblogging|
|Owner||Mixed Media Labs|
|Launched||August 8, 2012|
|Current status||Shut Down (since March 16, 2017)|
The name 'App.net' was previously used for a service that let app developers showcase their applications. On July 13, 2012, Mixed Media Labs announced that App.net would change its purpose to be an ad-free social networking platform. As designed, it was similar to Twitter, but with no advertising, instead relying on user and developer subscriptions. Mixed Media Labs began crowd funding with a goal of $500,000 and about 10,000 backers. They exceeded the goal by August 13, 2012, ultimately raising approximately $750,000, with over 11,000 backers.
App.net launched annotations on September 1, 2012, allowing applications to attach arbitrary metadata to posts. This was intended to allow more complex features to be built using the App.net infrastructure. On October 1, 2012, App.net started an incentive program. They would divide a $20,000 monthly pool among participating developers based on application usage and user feedback. Mixed Media Labs' goal was to encourage developers to build on the platform.
On November 29, 2012, App.net began a free-trial invitation program. Users could invite a friend to use App.net. If the friend accepts, they could use the service free for a month.
In May 2013, App.net hit 100,000 users.
On November 21, 2013, App.net announced Broadcast, a way for users of the App.net service to send and receive push notifications about the things they care about. These push notifications are sent through the App.net app on iPhone or Android. As part of the freemium model Broadcast is free to members of the App.net service with channel analytics available to App.net users with a developer-tier account.
On January 25, 2014, App.net launched Backer, described as a way to crowdfund features. The first project to use Backer originated from App.net itself, in which the company asked if they should accept Bitcoin as a form of payment for the paid tiers. Some of the details for Backer are:
You don't have to integrate App.net APIs to use Backer.
We handle the entire process on a turn-key basis. If the project is successful, App.net sends the money to the project owner. If the project is not successful, the project owner has no further obligation or work to do.
Successful open source Backer projects were not charged a fee. Successful proprietary Backer projects were charged a 5% fee. Unsuccessful Backer campaigns incurred no fees.— Backer, backer.app.net
On May 6, 2014, the founders announced that subscription renewals had been so poor that there were no longer funds to retain development staff for App.net and future operations would be on a maintenance-only basis using contractors.
On January 12, 2017, the founders announced that the platform App.net would be shut down on March 15, 2017. However, due to a significant number of user data export failures that deadline was extended until March 16, 2017. App.net finally ceased to operate as a social network at 6:45 AM on 17 March 2017 (UTC). The source code for App.net was made available on their Github Page.[needs update]
- "App.net is not vaporware". August 8, 2012. Retrieved October 15, 2012.
- "Announcing an audacious proposal". Dalton Caldwell. July 13, 2012. Retrieved August 14, 2012.
- Simonite, Tom (July 20, 2012). "A Social Network Free of Ads". Technology Review. Retrieved August 14, 2012.
- Panzarino, Matthew. "App.net gets annotations, allows for attaching all kinds of sweet metadata to posts". The Next Web. Retrieved October 15, 2012.
- "App.net Will Start Paying Developers $20K A Month To Be Part Of Its Ecosystem, Beginning October 1". TechCrunch. September 27, 2012. Retrieved October 15, 2012.
- "New Incentive Program Financially Rewards Developers for Using the App.net API". ProgrammableWeb. October 2, 2012. Retrieved October 15, 2012.
- Mitchell, Jon (November 29, 2012). "App.net Members Can Now Invite Friends With A Free Trial". ReadWrite. Retrieved November 29, 2012.
- Caldwell, Dalton. "Introducing a free tier". App.net. Archived from the original on 27 February 2013. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
- "Developer-friendly Twitter alternative App.net hits 100,000 registered users, 9 months after launch". TheNextWeb. May 17, 2013. Retrieved May 22, 2013.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-01-21. Retrieved 2014-01-22.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Caldwell, Dalton. "App.net State of the Union". App.net. Archived from the original on 23 January 2017. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
- "App.net is shutting down". Archived from the original on 4 March 2017. Retrieved 12 January 2017.