App.net, A Twitter Competitor, Crowdsources $500,000 In Funding
Some in the marketing and developer communities are buzzing with the weekend’s news that App.net, a potential Twitter competitor, raised more than $500,000 in funding — not from venture capitalists, but from its new users.
With about 12 hours left in its fund raising window, App.net currently says it’s raised $734,850 from 11,205 supporters.
App.net is the brainchild of Dalton Caldwell, who founded the now-defunct social/music site imeem in 2003. Caldwell most recently made headlines for a Dear Mark Zuckerberg letter in which he wrote about the frustrations of dealing with Facebook’s merger and acquisitions team.
With App.net, Caldwell is building a Twitter-like social site with a couple key differences:
- Posts can be up to 256 characters long.
- App.net will be ad-free.
- Account-holders will pay to use App.net. The base account is $50 for one year, and there are developer and “pro” accounts at $100 and $1,000, respectively.
The join/support page advertises App.net as “a different kind of social platform. We’re building a real-time social service where users and developers come first, not advertisers.”
The developer angle may be what’s really driving the project. App.net promises an open approach to developers. Its API has been available for less than a week, but there’s already a Github-based third-party app directory with dozens of projects listed.