About a year ago, someone suggested Twitter should charge its users $1 per month:
What if somehow the $1 per month could ensure a certain quality of service, additional features, and a minimum of invasive ads? It might work. Users would be happier, and the company would be more profitable and able to invest in its products. Having transparency – knowing that the $1 per month wasn't wasted on excessive bonuses, private jets, and sushi flown in from Japan – would be essential.
App.net, a service launched in July, seems to be doing just that. OK, its paid version costs a bit more than $1 per month. On the other hand, it doesn’t have ‘a minimum of invasive ads’, but simply no ads. Further, it’s not just a Twitter clone. Basically, it’s a place where you store your photos, documents and other content and choose which applications can interact with them – instead of letting services like Twitter or Facebook control your data.
I like the idea. There’s just one minor problem: nobody I know seems to be on App.net. On the other hand, if we all wait for other people to join first, nothing will happen. So I’ve created an account. Let’s see what happens.
It should be possible to try out App.net for free (with a few limitations). I used an invite from Lifehacker which isn’t valid anymore, but it probably shouldn’t be too difficult to find people offering free invites. For example, this link still seems to work.