App.net founders believe that many people want an “ad-free” social network, even if they have to pay a fee for it. After a successful fundraising program that gained over $670,000 recently, the startup envisions a network with zero advertisements.
Based on this amount, the possible fee for signing up could be around $50.
Making Customers Happy
According to Dalton Caldwell, the CEO and founder of App.net, the advertising strategies of networks such as Facebook and Twitter have been disappointing.
Recently, Twitter has started selling promoted accounts, trends, and tweets. Likewise, Facebook makes a lot of profit through advertising as well.
Caldwell believes that this approach makes advertisers happy, but not the actual users. Hence, he envisions a site that does just the opposite.
Social Networking for a Fee
Nevertheless, the question of whether customers would pay for ad-free network still remains. Tech analyst Michael Gartenberg mentions that this could be possible, citing that the App.net $50 membership fee may get even lower in the long run.
What’s more, he explains that the success of App.net’s fundraiser reveals the people’s willingness to spend their money for a service they prefer.
Based on fundraising data, a $50 pledge amounts to a one-year membership, $100 is the developer’s fee, and $1000 entitles one to phone support, developer access, and a meeting in San Francisco with none other than Caldwell.
In the Works
At the moment, App.net is being run for its donors as an “alpha” version. Caldwell mentions that more things need to be accomplished before the service operates full blast.
Notably, the founder’s earlier attempts at social media include Imeem, a music and video sharing site, and PicPlz, a photo app.
To date, Myspace has acquired Imeem, while PicPlz has been shut down as it has lost out to the more dominant Instagram. Only time will tell how App.net, Caldwell’s latest venture, will pan out.