After API Changes: Is app.net the future of Twitter?!
Twitter has finally explained the exact changes for their API. This has propably been the most discussed topic on the tech blogs I frequent. ReadWriteWeb’s Dan Frommer tried to explain that Twitter is trying to save their own future: They want to remain independent (even though there may be interested buyers), which is only possible with billion dollar advertising revenues, which in turn is only possible if Twitter controls the eyeballs of its users. Another post on ReadWriteWeb, from Dan Rowinski, endorsed the changes. The author’s main objective is that he wants Twitter to survive (and he tells the story of the major third party clients). Martin Weigert from netzwertig gave his take on the subject the title “Twitter is getting serious: The end of the open platform” (in German). He’s also trying to look at it from all angles, but most voices heard appear to be negative.
My attention towards this issue was pointed a few weeks back and at that time I wrote about LinkedIn vs. Twitter, which had just turned off Twitter-to-LinkedIn syndication (with the opposite direction still in place). On the same day, I found this tweet:
Dear Twitter, I’m happy to pay you each month for a pro subscription. Others will be too. Now stop fucking up the API.— Aral Balkan (@aral) June 30, 2012
Could this be a solution? Asking users to pay? There was one person who thought so: Dalton Caldwell. Instead of just mourning, he decided to create an alternative. And he was able to raise $600.000 in a Kickstarter-like campaign for his project. His site, app.net, charges $50 per year to users and $100 to developers and promises to never show ads.
Will app.net be successful? I’m not sure. Probably it will not be a Twitter replacement, and maybe it even doesn’t want to. On ReadWriteWeb, Richard MacManus writes that we should understand app.net as microblogging as a service, something like Evernote or Dropbox (which have a lot of paying users). I’m curious how this project will turn out. Maybe the whole situation will also give a boost to decentralized solutions such as status.net/identi.ca. Who knows?!