Whither App.net?

Dalton Caldwell:

The good news is that the renewal rate was high enough for App.net to be profitable and self-sustaining on a forward basis. Operational and hosting costs are sufficiently covered by revenue for us to feel confident in the continued viability of the service. No one should notice any change in the way the App.net API/service operates. To repeat, App.net will continue to operate normally on an indefinite basis.

The bad news is that the renewal rate was not high enough for us to have sufficient budget for full-time employees. After carefully considering a few different options, we are making the difficult decision to no longer employ any salaried employees, including founders. Dalton and Bryan will continue to be responsible for the operation of App.net, but no longer as employees. Additionally, as part of our efforts to ensure App.net is generating positive cash flow, we are winding down the Developer Incentive Program. We will be reaching out to developers currently enrolled in the program with more information.

Count me in with Marco Arment:

I would have loved to be proven wrong on my pessimistic predictions and criticism of their scattershot product direction. They’re good people. But I just don’t see a fundamentally social platform, even with a bunch of other features on top of it, getting a usefully large audience to succeed “on a forward basis” rather than “winding down” without being mostly free and having explosive growth from the start — especially when competing with similar, massive, free services.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014