Tech entrepeneur Dalton Caldwell is betting that after free social networking services like Friendster, MySpace, then Facebook and Twitter had succeeded in turning social media into something as essential to the 21st Century human being as air, people will now be willing to pay for it. Nothing shocking about the concept. Think bottled water.
So now comes Caldwell’s App.net…
App.net is a different kind of social platform.
We’re building a real-time social service where users and developers come first, not advertisers.
Our team has spent the last 9 years building social services, developer platforms, mobile applications and more.
We believe that advertising-supported social services are so consistently and inextricably at odds with the interests of users and developers that something must be done.
Help us create the service we all wish existed.
For users to “come first” in any service will cost them. The service is available for USD50 per year for the basic membership and USD100 for access to the full developers’ tool set. So is the service worth it?
Considering some information going around about the number of fake and duplicate accounts infesting Facebook and Twitter and how some supposedly influential users have such dubious “users” accounting for large chunks of their supposedly millions of followers, perhaps there is something to the idea of paying for membership in a social networking service.
To be sure, what is now free conventional social media (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, et al) is not dead. With more than 800 million users, Facebook remains a formidable platform for building social networks that are yielding much value to the businesses that are successful at cultivating them. But gone are the days when these sites gave users that warm fuzzy feeling that accompanies an almost altruistic focus on being, well, social. Shareholders are king now.
[Photo courtesy Estoy en el Medio.]