App.net and its incentive program

The slowdown was unsurprising for a network with roughly 30,000 users. So, in order to keep revenue coming, Mr Haddad made Netbot free. But rather than sell his users out for a pittance to online ad men, he took advantage of App.net’s incentive programme. Each month the social network currently divvies up $20,000 in cash among its most active developers, based on usage patterns and a monthly survey of users’ opinion.

Very smart.



  • imthedude

    Or they could attract more users by decreasing the price of the service. Hard to compete with free when you don’t have that much more to offer.

    • Steven Fisher

      Tapbots does not control the price of App.net.

    • http://twitter.com/CoreyTamas Joel In Real Life

      I think you’ve made a mistake in suggesting that Tapbots somehow makes decisions about the price of App.net, but… I’ll reply to your points, because I think this stuff is important.

      Actually, App.net’s business model is not only fair and viable… it’s also the one that’s been used by honest businesses for thousands of years: Pay a reasonable fee for reasonable goods or service. In doing so, they’ve created a business model which can easily survive ad-free, deals effectively with spam and opens the doors for third-party support. I’m not personally aware of any other major social media channel which can boast the same.

      Most important of all, however, is the way that App.net’s business plan means they don’t have to stoop to the insidious and dishonest data mining that “free” services do. Unlike other social media channels (Facebook and Google+ being two), you don’t have to constantly watch your back for App.net and guard your information from them. Why? Because it’s not how they make their money.

      I might also challenge the part where you say App.net doesn’t have that much to offer. Three things come to mind immediately: A larger character limit than Twitter (if that matters to you), a cloud-based file system that doesn’t share your stuff (so you don’t have to use the satanic pic hosting services like Twitpic that resell your pics to stock photography companies), and open APIs that allow for robust and unrestricted creation of third party apps (a feature that Twitter can’t boast).

      “Free” is an interesting way to define social networking as it exists now, given that there is no point at which they don’t scrape your private data and resell it. Not after six months. Not after a year. Not after five years. No matter how long you use it or how much they get, you’re never done paying for the service (which is also ad-supported in many cases). You may want to consider the old maxim: If you aren’t paying for your social media, then you are the product.

      • imthedude

        I guess I wasn’t specific, i didn’t mean tapbots I meant app.net themselves. I understand they want to charge, I’m ok with that, however I believe they charge too much to ever attract a real following. If users are happy there though, then I guess they found their sweet spot. However unless a dev can sell a lot of copies, will they continue to support the platform? I don’t know about that.

  • http://twitter.com/CoreyTamas Joel In Real Life

    Not saying App-dot-net is the savior of social media… but the more I hear about it, the more interested I get.

  • http://www.BarnesFamily.com/ davebarnes

    The name App.net sucks. Compare it with the name Twitter. Game over. Is App.net a Microsoft .net service? Is App.net an app from the Apple App Store?

    And, the price is a problem.

  • http://mangochut.net/ mangochutney

    I joined ADN a few days ago through an invite I received from David Chartier. Yes, it’s still a bit empty, but the feature set is good, and they’re making smart moves regarding the platform as a whole.

    I wish them all the success they can get.

  • http://www.thegraphicmac.com/ JimD

    If anyone beyond tech bloggers were on the service, I would consider joining.

  • http://twitter.com/unknwntrr Wenzel Massag

    I have an account. I open my stream every weeks or so, because it’s useless to have a “social” network where all the outsiders are, you need people that drive culture, not b´people that are happy with being out of the loop…