What app.net is

Granted, at first I thought that app.net was ‘just’ a Twitter clone. A Twitter clone though, that wouldn’t one day crack down on third-party developers, regulate and limit access to their API like crazy, and try to make money by advertising. That is a long way of saying that I would’ve been completely okay with app.net being a Twitter that I pay for, but that also stays true to itself. And doesn’t shut out another service basically every other week.

To be fair, that is what join.app.net says. But Dalton Caldwell, head of app.net, said they’re working on that. Because it is wrong. That only is a small part of what app.net is.

I only learned when I listened to The New Disruptors episode 13, in which Glenn Fleishman interviews Dalton. And by that, I finally learned what ADN reallyis about.

I try to keep it as short as possible: App.net is a platform. They take money for offering APIs of all kinds. Alpha.app.net, the ‘Twitter clone’ was and is a proof of concept, nothing more, nothing less.
Granted, most app.net-specific apps out there are clients for alpha.app.net. But there are also apps that use the storage you get with your app.net account and manage files on it, Orbit and Appchive. Like Droplr or Cloudapp, but on the webspace you have paid for. Feels good, and both apps are in an early, but promising stage. And there’s more:

  • Climber, basically Vine for app.net, but also using your storage.
  • patter, a chat room thingy.
  • Amy, which puts app.net messaging in OS X Messages.app.

As far as the twitter-like clients go: Netbot, to be honest, is a bit boring by now. And tapbots have signalised that they aren’t gonna implement a wide range of ADN features (not every ADN feature), like multiple recipients in direct messaging.

Felix and Riposte are very interesting. Felix is a bit more ‘extreme’ in its ways, but also more fresh and innovative. Riposte is a bit more conservative, but goes definitely also in the right direction. Can’t wait for a proper iPad version of Felix or Riposte, because Netbot currently is the only real option out there. That’s it. I think I have an invite left, if you’re interested. Oh, and my ADN nick is @tschoof, just as my twitter one.

See also zero’s post with a sign-up link.