I’ve been a member of Twitter for a few years now and it has been very good to me. Recently, however, my curiosity has been piqued by App.net.
I’m not going to rehash what App.net is or why it even exists because I really don’t think it matters all that much. The fact is that it started off as a Twitter-like service in the wake of one of the developer agreement changes from Twitter. It is also extremely limited in number of users compared to Twitter.
With the recent introduction of free accounts, the opportunity arose for me to try out the service without having to pay for the privilege.
So I grabbed an invite from someone offering one on Twitter (that’s funny) and then headed over and setup my account. I also went ahead and tried out a bunch of different applications from the App Store. Right now the main way I consume App.net is using an app called Riposte on my iPhone. Currently Riposte is not available on the iPad, so I’m still bouncing among a few apps on the iPad (including Netbot, which is good … but doesn’t feel quite as “at home” with App.net as Riposte does).
So, how is it going overall?
I, surprising myself at least, really like the service. I’ve been able to stay under the 40-follow mark for free accounts, but I’m already getting to the point where I could see myself paying for a year just to see how things go. The discussion has been cordial and high-concept so far, and I’m following people on App.net that I might not have followed on Twitter.
Can it replace Twitter? Probably not, but I do find the smaller audience to be a nice change. With fewer people, seemingly, come fewer problems. There are issues around a self-selecting group being on App.net because in the past there was only a paid-tier to have entry and it also is HIGHLY developer-centric (I mostly follow Apple developers on App.net at the moment), but maybe those aren’t bad things overall.
I tend to think that the Internet is big, but that smaller groups can form on the greater internet to more-easily keep in touch with each other. Not every service needs to be all-inclusive because the Internet is all-inclusive. Being a part of many different services and groups is a good thing.
Besides, you want diversity of thought, right?