→ App.Net Is More than Just Twitter with a Different Business Model

Watts Martin:

If we think Twitter the service has long-term value as a fundamental Internet service—and I do—then Twitter the company needs to be disrupted. That’s not going to happen by building a clone with a more liberal software license or a better business model. It’s only going to happen if such a service becomes Internet infrastructure, no matter how many business models that breaks along the way.

I think Mr. Martin is confusing the current alpha.app.net with app.net as a whole. App.net’s founder Dalton Caldwell has said that he does intend for App.net to be infrastructure. In fact, he said he did not want to put out the alpha originally because he was afraid that people would miss the point of what App.net is. I encourage Mr. Martin to listen to the first 30 minutes of this week’s This Week in Google, where Mr. Caldwell explains his actual vision for App.net. I think it is much more in line with what Mr. Martin wants than he realizes1.

  1. Kyle Baster has written a commentary building on Mr. Martin’s piece. His argument seems to be slightly different from Mr. Martin’s: he would prefer that Twitter’s replacement be some kind of “open standard” like RSS or IMAP since that will allow for everyone to use it. I would counter Mr. Baxter by saying that an open standard and its associated technological hurdles would be a barrier to entry similar to the existing App.net membership fee. In fact, the skill required to implement the open standard might be a higher barrier than the current fee structure.