App.net: a paid Twitter gets a lot of interest
Twitter has caught on. It’s no longer the wave of the future, it’s the wave of the present. And since this is technology we’re talking about, everyone is actively looking for the next big wave so that they can surf it or something.
Maybe that’s why App.net did so well in Kickstarter funding. Web developer Dalton Caldwell raised half a million dollars from 10,000 investors for a Twitter-like operation that people would pay to join. Caldwell’s pitch involves the complaint that Twitter was blocking access to its API (application programming interface) which blocked people from building on that platform.
From The Guardian:
As Twitter tries to generate revenues from its fast-growing user base, it has been putting more restrictions on what developers can do - leading to restlessness among those who have built apps for it.
"We believe that advertising-supported social services are so consistently and inextricably at odds with the interests of users and developers that something must be done," Caldwell wrote on the App.net signup page.
Speaking to Technology Review, he said that "Twitter created as fundamental a technical innovation as e-mail and HTML itself, and they totally blew it."
Yeah, but email and HTML tend to be free and a big part of the fun of Twitter is the critical mass of people using it. As annoying as ad-supported platforms are (Facebook is one), the price literally cannot be beat.
Then again, I would put a dollar value on not seeing the Fail Whale again.