While writing about Twitter recently I was easily led in to wondering about the possible success of App.net.
At one point there were Twitter clones all over the place. I was a member of the now defunct Blellow. I was even active enough that I got a free t-shirt out if it. All of the clones had a similar premise to Twitter and a similar business model. Get a bunch of users and then think about making some money. Unfortunately they didn’t get enough users to even make it to the money making point.
Now along comes App.net which again, has a similar premise to Twitter but has a totally different business model. They plan on charging users for access to the service. Would App.net have been successful if Twitter hadn’t come first? I don’t think so.
When Twitter started, the idea of Twitter was just that, an idea that may work. It was not a sure thing that the idea was even a good one. Now add a fee for usage yearly and it would have been doomed for failure.
In my opinion, App.net only has a chance in a post Twitter world. A world where Twitter has changed from treating it’s users like Kings in to treating them like serf’s.