Will App.net change the social media apps landscape?

App.net, according to their FAQ, is “A framework for real-time social media interactions based on open standards with an ad-free, subscription-based business model, which aims to distinguish itself from the field by respecting 3rd-party developers as equals and not commoditizing its users.”

The initiative is still in alpha mode, but according to Dalton Caldwell, it has reached its goal of 500,000 registrations ahead of time. Caldwell explains, in a recent article on his blog,

App.net 3rd-party revshare proposal

that App.net will provide a place for third party developers to market their apps without having to sell them through an app store connected to one or the other social networking sites.

As far as I understand, all the apps developed by third party coders go into a repository. End users are free to choose which apps they would like to use, and the developers are paid from a fund consisting of monthly payments by all those who join App.net and use the apps, revenue to be distributed in accordance with use of the individual applications.

The initiative seems to be a response to the way Twitter treats its app developers. Caldwell says:

“Let me be transparent here: I am trying to turn the brain-dead way Twitter is treating its 3rd-party devs on its head. 3rd-party developers added all of the value to the platform in the early days, and instead of being shut down they should get paid. The reason the Twitter developer ecosystem has failed is that Twitter itself has a flawed business model. We can do better.”

There has also been a run-in with facebook, which apparently decided that an app offered to be sold in their app store would be in competition with internal developments and was therefore not going to be sold… see

Dear Mark Zuckerberg.

More stories about the App.net saga at


1 Comment Will App.net change the social media apps landscape?

  1. AvatarTom Crowl

    App.net like facebook is a transaction network…

    But app.net offers a more open alternative…. certainly for independent developers looking to receive fair compensation for their contributions. But there are greater possibilities.

    Why should app.net avoid the ‘monetary’ transaction? Facebook certainly doesn’t intend to…

    Whether its for monetizing “freeware”, actualizing Kevin Kelly’s “1000 True Fans” or allowing citizens to viably lobby for a better system…

    A viable, one-click micro-transaction within a secure neutral citizens’ network will be needed to make that possible. Its a fundamental of speech and the key to new economic opportunities.

    Its a transaction never before possible… made necessary once we scaled beyond our hunter-gatherer origins… but way too long in coming.

    And frankly, having never been experienced… its importance is not yet recognized. I’m a pragmatist. And this is a tool whose time has come.

    The details:

    Patent #7,870,067 granted January 11, 2011

    (Now, I know you guys hate patents… but I’d NOT like to see this capability become dominated by a Goldman/Sacks… and without such protection it will. Never have understood why the “Commons” shouldn’t have a little protection also. Maybe that’s one of the reasons it so often ends up prostrate before narrow interests… you know… the way we’ve all become ‘subjects’ of self-serving ‘credit creators’. Wake-up! Fight fire with fire.)

    Claim 1:

    1. A donation method, comprising: establishing a first escrow account for a first donor with a first threshhold on a programmed electronic computer; removing funds from the first escrow account upon instructions from the first donor, the instructions having a transfer designation and the instructions being a contribution; comparing the funds to a second threshold donation level to determine if the funds are great enough for a donation to be made on a programmed electronic computer; aggregating the funds with the same transfer designation with the money from other donors to equal or surpass the threshold donation level; creating a sum of funds; transferring the sum of funds to the transfer designation, said transferring the sum of funds is depositing said sum of funds with a political candidate or cause; and reporting information about the first donor and the other donors upon transferring the sum of funds, said reporting information is done within the confines of jurisdictional requirements.

    If you wade through the verbiage its similar to a cash card or Internet wallet… but the user’s information and instructions are separated from the funds which go into Trust Account(s)… and ‘micro’ designations can be made, pooled with designations of others to the same recipient… and reaching a viable threshold (determined by a variety of cost related factors)… transferred to the recipient with any reporting requirements reported and tracked.

    This systems allows transfers of ANY size… but what it can do that others can’t… is the micro-transaction…. and pass through incurred transaction costs.

    So… it can function, if desired, just like any other gift card or Internet wallet…

    BUT… with a vital added capability… a simple micro-transaction.

    While the utility of this transaction has sometimes been questioned…

    The POLITICAL microtransaction, at least, escapes all those objections: Its not a physical good, not digital content with free alternatives available, and hassle is eliminated.

    I’d also contend that its a fundamental of speech. But I recognize that may not be an issue the marketplace much considers.

    But the marketplace should definitely consider that sooner-or-later this capability will be used at least occasionally by almost everyone…

    And in that lies a vast potential for this Internet Wallet! Not to mention an assist to not only independent developers… but independent artists of all kinds. You want a new economy? Than enable this network.

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