Current users of the small, subscription-based social network App.net can now give friends a chance to try to the service for one month at no charge.
It’s a smart move that should help bump up App.net’s user levels, especially in the wake of last month’s decision to lower the subscription fee from $50 to $36. According to Appnetizens.com, App.net currently has about 28,700 total users and is adding new users only at a clip of several dozen per day.
Existing users on a yearly plan will find a “small number” of invites at account.app.net/invite — my account shows three invites. Invites are emailed and, if the recipient accepts, s/he will need to provide a credit card for billing purposes during the sign-up process. The new member, though, won’t be billed until after the initial free month and can cancel before that happens.
App.net launched this summer in part out of frustration over Twitter’s changing approach to working with developers. It’s still a very small community but, in some ways, it’s a test of whether social networking users are willing to pay for an ad-free service where membership fees also purposely limit overall growth.