I rarely get excited about companies that decide to start new social media services. Especially ones that end up trying to replicate a lot of functionality that already exist in previously established big players. I could list many micro-blogging style services — some with varying business models from open source, freemium, to free and ad supported.
I signed up for App.net back in August of 2012. I initially was skeptical, yet optimistic — as I wrote about extensively in my piece published in The Magazine — about its future. Whilst the service and developer platform is nascent, there’s been an explosive early adoption by developers to build apps off the API (which is still evolving). Not even during Twitter’s early days have we seen such a breadth of high quality apps, ranging in functionality from clients that replicate the web experience, to others that extend the functionality of the Messages API. With that in mind, at this point, I have seen ADN grow into something more than just a nerds versions of Twitter. With the aforementioned Messages API, we have seen truly fantastic apps, such as Patter. I have no doubt there will be much more to come. It will be interesting to see if anyone tackles business needs like group messaging with LDAP authentication support (I’m not sure if that’s possible).
Perhaps many of you who are regular readers have been carefully watching at a distance, but have yet to try this service. If you never felt like moving from Twitter, or perhaps just couldn’t palate the original $50 entrance fee, I highly recommend you give this a go. I have a special invite-only sign-up link you can use which will land you a free account. Hopefully you will like it enough to stick around. I know I have certainly been enjoying the ad free experience and excellent conversations.