App.net and Netbot

Most people know by now that Twitter is evil. The way that they favor advertisers over users in worrisome at best. Many people realized this, but also realized the value that Twitter contains. So someone did something about it.

Dalton Caldwell founded App.net, an ad-free social network that users can trust. They work with developers to support the users instead of working with advertisers to support themselves. App.net is funded by the users. They are currently charging $36 to use the service for one year. I signed up.

The first thing you notice about App.net is that there are a lot of nerds. I love this about it. I realize that most of my real life friends are never going to pay for this service because they have Twitter and it’s free. That’s why I couldn’t completely give up Twitter. However, App.net is providing value in a completely different way.

I feel like the community of people on App.net is much more tight-knit. The information and conversation that fills my stream fits a very specific niche. It appeals to my nerd side, and it allows me to connect with people that share my nerdy interests more effectively.

The big push that got me to sign up was the release of Netbot. From the makers of Tweetbot, the beloved Twitter app for iOS, is an App.net iOS app that looks almost identical to Tweetbot. With the release of his app, signups for App.net surged.

No doubt that Netbot is the best client for App.net. The guys at Tapbots do awesome work. However, many people have complained about the fact that Tweetbot and Netbot are almost identical. They wish that each app had its own visual identity. I agree slightly, but I think that Matt Alexander made a great point in this post on App.net:

I have a feeling @netbot’s similarities to Tweetbot are purposeful. Not knowing whether you’re in App.net or Twitter is a useful psychological trick to ween people off the latter. Netbot isn’t a complement to Tweetbot, it’s the future of it.

I agree. Matt goes into more detail about this in this post. I think that Tapbots made this app because they were upset about Twitter’s API changes and they saw potential in replacing Twitter with App.net. I think them moving their focus from Twitter to this new service is just a smart business move.

You can find me on App.net as @chasemccoy.

Posted in: Reviews