Can you imagine a service like Twitter without advertising, spammers and URL shorteners? Without clunky official clients, and without hostility towards the third-party ecosystem? The 12 strong team at App.net can, and they think enough people are willing to pay for such a service to make it work.
"Our philosophy is that we are pipes pushing bits," says App.net founder Dalton Caldwell. In other words, App.net is to social media what Amazon Web Services is to the rest of the web - a platform for you to build your application on (making the App.net name itself sheer genius). And unlike Twitter, you're not likely to have your business model implemented as an official feature or just be an unwanted nuisance.
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Instead of using Kickstarter to raise the required $500,000, the team built its own crowd-funding system and is currently 68% of the way to the goal with three days left on the clock, thanks to over 4,800 backers.
If you're keen to back the project and secure your username, you can do so at join.app.net.
Caldwell discusses the thinking behind App.net in the following video.