For the many of you who have used Twitter, what would you say to a rival service that requires you to pay for it? I suppose it will take a paradigm shift to be able to adapt to such a situation, but before we continue, let us take a closer look at what App.net is all about. Having hit its $500,000 fundraising target, Dalton Caldwell, the person behind App.net, figured out that ordinary folks would be willing to fork out money for an ad-free real-time social networking service, where this widely touted Twitter clone is said to be a virtual place where “users and developers come first, not advertisers”.
The San Francisco-based developer might be on to something here, where around 7,448 people are willing to fork out $50 for the minimum fee required to post to the service, while another 2,010 can pony up a Benjamin to be developers with access to back-end functionality, and another 59 did hand over $1,000 for “pro tier” access that includes phone support and a personal meeting with Caldwell. Are the 10,000 folks who backed this project financially the critical mass required to get App.net off the ground? Perhaps, but as with many other things, only time will tell and we do look forward to App.net’s commercial performance in the real world.