Twitter has a new challenger on the block. It’s promising to be a better experience, and hoping to put a huge dent into the armor of the 140 character deity. How you may ask? It’s simple: no advertising.
App.net is apparently annoyed at the fact that Twitter has ads, and has launched a campaign to create their own version of the messaging service. According to the project founder’s video, he’s been let down by the way free Web 2.0 services have been. His disappointment is fueled by the fact that companies like Twitter have to place focus on advertisers, which gives the users a bad experience.
The Twitter experience is fine. You go there, post some shit, read some shit, done. It’s not overly complicated and cluttered with insane navigation and piles of garbage. They leave that to Facebook.
Dalton Caldwell’s plans are to create a Twitter-like service that is funded by the users and developers. He says
“If we’re selling a service, our customers are our users, and our job is to make our users happy. If we have a free, ad-supported service, our customers are advertisers and our job is to make advertisers happy.”
Congrats Dalton, you figured out the difference between a free service and a paid service. You’re a fucking genius.
App.net ran an online funding marathon to gain the financial backing for the site, with hopes to raise at least $500,000. They’ve gone beyond, hitting nearly $700k to build and run their new service.
According to a post over at Mashable, Twitter’s recent actions with its API service may be part of the fuel behind this. After Twitter and LinkedIn ended their coupling, and Instagram lost the ability to find Twitter friends, developers started getting nervous. Petitions and a lot of screaming ensued.
In Twitter’s defense, they say they want people to build more into the service, instead of off of it. Makes sense, considering they are the ones handling the heavy lifting of managing a gazillion people in their coked up database that occasionally has a nervous fit (which can be seen anytime a major event happens).
Let’s get down to this. The idea for App.net isn’t new or even interesting. In fact it’s pretty stupid. You seriously want to start a clone of a major website simply because it has a few ads that no one other than you even notices? Based on the responses to this story as others have covered it, most of the readers didn’t realize Twitter even had ads. They aren’t annoying or bothering anyone.
Being irritated that they have to cater to advertisers is also stupid. People act like websites are free and cost nothing to operate, as if simply being popular can cause it to sustain itself and feed the people who run it. You’re all idiots. It’s a website, not a slutty cheerleader. Without the funding provided by advertising, the services wouldn’t be able to operate. Venture capital can only get you so far before you need to grow the fuck up and start paying your own bills. Twitter is using minimal, unobtrusive advertising and sponsored crap that, if it’s working to fund them, is an excellent choice.
Free Twitter versus Paid Twitter
There is a reason Twitter has never gone to a paid only version. They know it would destroy their service overnight, period. When Twitter launched a few years ago, they brought to the game an unprecedented feature of the internet: instant worldwide notification of anything going on. We find out about things on Twitter well before news outlets. If they were to change that to paid only, their user base would disappear immediately.
I don’t see the appeal to joining App.net. So someone wants to make a clone of Twitter with their own spin on it. Big deal. This shit goes on every day on websites like Freelancer.com and Elance. People buy clones of major websites all the time and try to launch them with whatever gimmicky shit they want to do differently.
But the idea is that I’ll be paying for the service, so they’ll have to cater to me. Sure, that may sound nice on paper but it doesn’t make anything real. I’m a Netflix user who pays for their service, and they give less than a shit about what people want to watch.
Around 10,000 people have backed this project. That’s compared to Twitter’s nearly 600 million users, which does also count advertisers and brands, both of which would simply join App.net and bug the shit out of you directly.
This is what it boils down to
App.net will charge you to use it, will have less people than an Orlando Bloom Message Board, but will be working for you since you’re paying for the service.
Twitter will use advertising which most people don’t know exists, has everyone in the world on it, but will still work toward paying its bills through advertisers.
So my option is to pay to use a service with less people, most likely none of the people I want to follow anyway, or stay with a service used by everyone and continue to stalk celebrities and porn actresses freely, the way the Internet was meant to be used.
The choice really isn’t hard to make, so I’m not sure why this has even come around. Free services can only pay for themselves through advertising. Expecting them to magically become immune to bills makes no sense. Paid services can only beat out a free service if it brings something amazing to the game, and based on what I’ve read App.net isn’t doing that. Unless they can somehow figure out how to make it so the Brazzers actresses can pop out of my feed and blow me on command, I doubt they’ll be offering anything worth converting from Twitter for. If they do manage to do that, I’m joining and dialing up Ava Addams immediately.