Posted 09/03/2012 at 10:32 AM
Posted 4 years ago
When it was launched in 2006, not even Twitter founder Jack Dorsey could have envisioned how much blogging in 140 characters could have captivated the world. In little over 6 years, Twitter has well over 500 million active users and continues to grow by the day. There is no doubt that Dorsey and his co-founders exploited a gap in the social media market to produce a site that is now embedded in popular culture. Twitter is so huge that surely there is no chance of an alternative making a success of themselves in the same market – is there? Well, a US entrepreneur by the name of Dalton Caldwell certainly thinks there is room for more than one microblogging site in the market, and has created App.net – a subscription based alternative to Twitter, or as the slogan puts it: “a real-time social feed without the ads”.
Just a month after launching the third-party app supporting Twitter alternative, App.net exceeded its $500,000 goal from its crowdsourcing campaign and by mid-August had over $800,000. Seven weeks in and the program has revealed even more milestones – showing that Dalton Caldwell may have created a service that is the real deal.
While it is still far away from competing with the likes of Twitter, Dalton has placed a message on the alpha.app.net site to say that over 250,000 posts have been created on App.net, with an estimated 50% created by third party clients. In addition to this, as of 28 August, the service had over 17,500 paying customers, and The Guardian has reported that the service has had its first dedicated apps launched on iOS and Android.
AppNet Rhino (iOS) and Hooha for App.Net (Android) are both free apps, and both use App.net’s API to allow users to read streams, follow other users and compose posts. Both apps are fairly straight-forward but are likely to undergo major improvements and updates over time. The milestones are pretty significant so early in the company’s existence and show that the site is finding a solid and growing user base.