So what is actually App.net?
App.net is the new paid social media platform. It acquired quite the number of highly engaged users, rather quickly. I am not sure is that because it’s paid, or because simply the influencers who made a push for app.net attracted some amazing users, but yes. This is how Twitter looked like at it’s beginnings. Exploding from engagement, and no promotion links anywhere.
And on top of it all, no fear of the advertisements and changes to the developers API access, as recently happened with Twitter.
Who are the people there?
The audience it attracts is mostly male, geeky tech users who are chatty and have some spare time on their hands, and love to get social. A pretty cozy bunch if you ask me, for the likes of me. Seems like the iOS platform dominates, as there are a lot of clients out there already.
Monetization is strong for this platform, from the get go. Imagine 20 000×5$ a month. I am pretty sure we won’t be seeing ads here. I didn’t like how they went about the first app they’ve offered. I’ve already dished out 36$ for a whole year, and they’ve welcomed me with: “Do you want to pay 5$ to support the development of Twitter / App.net integration.
How the hell would I know, if I just got onto the service? Beats me how and why they approached it that way.
Now I didn’t wanna go all out, before I feel the platform. For the time being I have no idea how to approach it. Is it a good platform for marketing ? Or just a general new wave IRC channel for the geeks? Certainly feels like the latter, and it doesn’t bother me at all.
Most interesting thing on the App.net
Global stream. Every single status update of the App.net ends up in the global stream and for a newcomer this is a great way to get along with the community. Everybody is following you, from the moment you step your foot through the door.
People are rarely posting links, it feels more like a global chatroom of the platform which has 20 000 users and counting.
So how does App.net looks like and what it can do?
The web version is pretty dry. It has the basic functions that Twitter had, like: Status update, mention, hashtag, and that’s where the list ends.
It’s pretty much like a basic version of Twitter, just for the one difference: it has 256 characters for you to populate. This is kinda life saving, as it eases the communication, and reposts (App.net version of retweets).
The nice thing about the web interface, is that it works well on your mobile device. So if you are using some dead end platform (like a Windows phone), where there aren’t supported apps, you won’t be left out.
As much as I’ve figured out, all the posts are public and can be viewed even by people who are not members of the App.net. Which is good way to approach it.
Reminds me kinda of services like Squarespace, just with a bit more limitations, and way more of engagement.
3rd party Apps, and which ones do I use
There is already a big number of apps popping up, like umbrellas after the rain. For the iOS I’ve seen NetBot, which is essentially a Tweetbot clone and it costs 5$. It would be a fair deal, but you would have to buy iPad and iPhone version separately.
Second app that took a lot of popularity is Felix. It’s iPhone only and also costs 5$. Seems a bit more minimalistic, and looks great.
But the third app, the one that I use, actually in my opinion brought in most innovations and on top of that is free. It’s called Rivr, it has the most beautiful icon, and immediately it ended up on my home screen.
Now, the real way I update App.net is my favorite app of all times: Drafts. I’ve been mentioning it as a productivity app on Alpha Efficiency, and it’s still my default way of connecting with other services. The support for App.net is native, and sends to it, without additional confirmations, that are usually required on the behalf of other apps.
And now for the Mac client. Wang is absolutely copy pasted version of Twitter client for Mac, but it has everything that is necessary for App.net to work.
There were a few minor bugs, that I’ve noticed in the yesterday’s version, but as of today, there is a new update. Seems like the community is engaged around the platform around here, and that makes me happy.
App.net is vibrant, vivid community. And if you love techie stuff, if you enjoy people who love to talk and get to know each other, this might be the right fit for you. I promise you won’t feel lonely when you hit the boat, and most of your updates will get replied.
Did I get my moneys worth? The fun I had the first day, was very well worth it, and it just keeps giving.
If you are into technology, programming, and open platforms, I recommend that you get into this geeky world of App.net.