I’m not a fan of the advertising-based model for social media services. To use the web and social media effectively, you have to do what you can to widdle-down the feeds and noise so you can obtain and provide value. Advertising models used to support these sites and services really only hinder and distort these resources.
I was really interested in App.net because of a more focused and honest model where the user pays for something and gets something in return. As Facebook remains Facebook and Twitter descends into trying to insert more and more ads, I am hopeful for something like App.net to ascend. So, I bought in and was able to get into the alpha going on right now. After about a week of playing around, I am pleasantly surprised.
The service right now is pretty barebones but evolving nicely. After many days of posting and interacting with App.net via the web and mobile interface, I didn’t have any issues and enjoyed the clean minimal interface. But, when I was able to get involved with the iOS app AppApp beta testing, that is when I really started to incorporate it into daily life.
Here are some screenshots of what the UI looks like in AppApp (version 1.5)
App.net is still a really small community but it is growing and it is neat to see people feeling things out in the system and asking questions on why or why not. The same conventions Twitter users are familiar with hashtags and @ symbol call-outs are running in App.net so a transition has little to no learning curve.
Lots more to come with App.net but if you are looking to support a different kind of a service and are willing to invest in multiple ways to get that going, you should check App.net out.