In started with a blog post from well-known Dalton Caldwell, promoting the idea of an ads free, developer friendly social platform. While for whatever reason, most of the journalists did not get Dalton’s idea and put App.net in the corner of being a Twitter clone, @sneakyness put it best on App.net:
“Anybody that says #AppNet is a #TwitterClone obviously hasn’t paid any attention to what’s going on. The website is merely a demonstration of what can be. This is a social graph lego kit with built in users!”
Dalton went for crowd funding the new platform and asked people to back the project by paying for a one year membership. If App.net wouldn’t get 500.000 US$ by August, 13th 2012, his vision would not come to life. Well, when I started typing this article, the funding counter was at 542.200 US$.
One of App.net’s promises from the beginning is to make the service extremely developer friendly. If you take a look into their early API specification – which you can actively work on and contribute to – they seem to be serious, it’s a developer’s dream.
Given a great idea, a fantastic alpha and a great API, developers from all over the world jumped onto the bandwagon and started creating amazing things, even when they couldn’t be sure, that App.net would ever reach its funding goal.
I started a page listing mobile apps, web based services, desktop clients, libraries and sample code on the official App.net GitHub Wiki, trying to guide new members to experiences besides App.net’s own alpha site.
Here is a quick rundown of the things I’ve tried myself:
- AppApp is a working iPhone app. The featured article image shows it’s current status. It’s maintained as an open source project on GitHub. While the creators, @sneakyness and @bsneed, ran out of tester slots as of this writing, in case you’re an iOS developer or got a friend, you can grab the code and build it yourself.
- shrtmsg is a mobile web app, working fantastically on iPhones. Maintained by @matthew, it currently offers the most complete feature set on a mobile, though I ran into some performance issues, which given the enormous increase in traction App.net has gained over the last couple of days, do not make me wonder.
- quickApp by the omnipresent @q was one of the first third party “experiments” leveraging the alpha API. It still is the best way of experiencing the global stream in real-time on a desktop. Even better than App.net’s own web site. The good thing is, it’s exactly what the App.net team wants to see happening.
These are the ones I personally use all the time. Again, I keep updating the list of the growing number of initiatives.
As many of my readers know, I’m running Germany’s largest iOS and Android development company, so are we planning to build an App.net client? Honestly, I don’t think so. Here is why: I strongly believe, that the third party Twitter ecosystem has brought us some of the most innovative and perfect mobile user experiences grouped around real-time social platforms (think TweetBot).
No offense meant, but much of what we are going to see next will be attempts to clone Tweetbot’s, Tweetie’s or Twitterrific’s best ideas and come up with the next big social mobile client. On the other hand, for the folks at Tapbot, the Iconfactory or even Loren Brichter, it would be just so easy to also support App.net. They already made some of the best Twitter clients, it’s just one more step.
And I seriously hope they hear me and will just do so.