The folks over at App.net started a Kickstarter-like fundraising campaign to start a Twitter competitor. For weeks, it didn’t seem as if they’d meet their goal in time, but the past few days have been explosive. As of writing this article, they have raised over $730,000 USD. Their minimum funding goal was only $500,000 USD. Impressive. They have convinced over 11,000 people to drop at least $50 USD to join up. If you’re interested in joining early, you can still get on board for twelve more hours.
The interesting and novel part of this is that they intend to charge for their social network. You know, the traditional way of running a business: Charge for your product or service, and then spend less money than you make. No ads and no bullshit. Facebook and Twitter piss off their users constantly because their goals aren’t the same as your goals. With this model, App.net’s goals and their users’ goals are simpatico. They want you to keep paying, and you want a kickass social network. Problem, meet solution.
What do you think of this? Is a for-pay social network doomed to fail, or will we be seeing more of this? Take a moment to sound off in the comment section below this post. We want to hear your thoughts about App.net. I haven’t joined up, but when they get out of alpha, and if their product is compelling enough, I won’t hesitate to drop $50 USD.