It seems that the idea of one entity controlling the real time social feed to the world is going to be challenged by a – wait for it – subscription based model. App.net is poised to introduce the idea, as their bid for $500K USD seems to have been realized.
App.net is a potential boon for those folks who see the Twitter ad train bearing down on them and are looking for a better experience.
I imagine it also send chills down the spines of the ad networks. Imagine if the power users who create 90% of the valuable content on its service switch to App.net? What will Twitter be left with?
Kim Kardashian and Justin Bieber.
That may be enough content to keep the service interesting for some but I for one will drop off Twitter if App.net can gain the kind of traction that it looks to be already developing.
I do have a concern about supporting the Open Protocols however. From Dalton Caldwell’s blog:
- Activitystrea.ms Atom & JSON feeds, as well as RSS feeds, of public posts for individual users, hashtags, etc. (Note that this is different from making them the foundation of our read/write API, which we have decided not to do)
- Pubsubhubbub (PuSH) support (as a publisher, initially)
- Exposing user identities with Webfinger
- Commitment to coordinate between internal and external parties to create and support open-source “lightweight” clients in as many flavors as we can, ala Stripe
- Commit to enabling and supporting users in building inbound and outbound syndication to and from App.net
I am a fan of Open but this is could be a lot. A lot of dependency on others, their development cycles and what others deem to be important features or design decisions, external to App.net.
I hope that this policy doesn’t spell frustration for the progress that App.net wants to make. Design by committee is usually lowest common denominator at best and more often doesn’t iterate fast enough for those that want to use the end product. I must admit that I am a fan of the benevolent dictator when it comes to platform development. This is how Microsoft won back in the COM versus CORBA battle. Apple iPhone versus, well, pretty much everyone else.
You get the point.
Fingers crossed though as I have already paid my first years subscription!