App.net lays off all employees, but service will continue

Dalton Caldwell, App.net co-founder:

The good news is that the renewal rate was high enough for App.net to be profitable and self-sustaining on a forward basis. Operational and hosting costs are sufficiently covered by revenue for us to feel confident in the continued viability of the service. No one should notice any change in the way the App.net API/service operates. To repeat, App.net will continue to operate normally on an indefinite basis.

The bad news is that the renewal rate was not high enough for us to have sufficient budget for full-time employees. After carefully considering a few different options, we are making the difficult decision to no longer employ any salaried employees, including founders. Dalton and Bryan will continue to be responsible for the operation of App.net, but no longer as employees. Additionally, as part of our efforts to ensure App.net is generating positive cash flow, we are winding down the Developer Incentive Program. We will be reaching out to developers currently enrolled in the program with more information.

Very sad.



  • http://www.yourmaclifeshow.com/ Shawn King

    What is “Very sad”?

  • Jeff

    How anyone using the service did not see this coming is beyond me. It was never a stable business model. The devs, and their fans, that populated the site were, and are, not enough to keep the site afloat. It was ambitious but ultimately a flash in the pan.

    • http://www.johncblandii.com John C. Bland II

      yeah, we all knew this was coming. that’s why I never used it.

    • http://tewha.net/ Steven Fisher

      Not entirely sure you read the announcement. Keeping it afloat doesn’t seem to be the problem; continuing to add features rapidly is. As it’s already a great platform, I’m not going to worry overmuch.

      If it ultimately needs to get shut down, I’m confident I’ll be able to get my data out. In the meantime, it’s continuing to give me what I want.

      • Jeff

        If you think this is not he death knell of ADN then I have a bridge to sell you.

    • SockRolid

      Never quite reached “critical mass.” Never quite reached the general public either.

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

    The name was horrible.

  • Nicholas Chan

    I saw this straight from the beginning. No one wants to pay to share their thoughts. Granted, I think they rolled out a free tier, but I’m already committed on Twitter, and I don’t see any ads (yet) on Tweetbot.

  • itsgene

    I lost interest quite some time ago, and was reminde of its existence by the automatic charge on my credit card. When I logged in to the service, there hadnt been any posts n my timeline for 4 months. Glad my $ is helping them stay afloat…

    • http://tewha.net/ Steven Fisher

      I’m sure I could pick a few of Twitter’s early users and never see tweets in my timeline, either. I couldn’t possibly keep up with my ADN stream.

      It sounds like you need to find new people to follow (or possibly cancel).

  • http://lucianmarin.com/ Lucian Marin

    The problem with App.net is that it was too many things clustered on top of some social layer. That never works. Gladly, Sublevel.net is now an alternative and it’s trying to be minimal in both features and design.

    • Zepfhyr

      Actually, App.net was very few things. It was simply an API and app platform. A lot of people equate the web apps that the ADN team built to App.net, but that’s a mistake. App.net was a community of tech-minded users and developers looking for an alternative social community that didn’t try to restrict what developers used the service to build.

      Also, I’ve not heard of Sublevel.net, but it looks to miss the point entirely. App.net was not a Twitter clone, though its primary interaction layers were. But it was used to build at least two blogging engines, an “Instagram-like” where users retained complete ownership of their data, and a “theater” with a chatroom (which sounds weird until you use it).

      Sadly, from an external point of view, it was never something you could understand. You had to use it. I’m glad I took the risk. I loved my last year+ on ADN and will gladly continue to pay for it as long as they’ll let me.

  • http://tewha.net/ Steven Fisher

    Great quip I saw on this on ADN:

    Q: What’s the difference between App.net and Twitter? A: App.net is currently sustainable indefinitely.

    https://alpha.app.net/larand/post/29909224

  • SockRolid

    Sad? Yes. Surprise? Hell no.