I am in the alpha of App.net, so I don’t have my 50 dollars anymore. We are only with a couple of people from the Netherlands. The count was about 20 today, but that number is rising slowly. At the moment the total number is about 12.500 users.
I must admit, the whole thing feels like an alpha. The product is not finished yet. Features are not working, some things are still rough on the edges. Take for example the profile page. It says that you must upload an avatar with maximum dimensions of 200x200. But that was a wrong statement. The avatar had to be 200x200 exact. Not smaller, not rectangular, exact. New updates don’t load automagicaly but you need to manual refresh the page. Things like repost are missing, as is searching. But again, this is in the Alpha stage.
App.net has to create some attracting services in order for users to resubscribe to the service. For this year people are in, but what will they do next year when things might not develop as quick as expected or when unforeseen problems are not resolved fast enough?
It is still too early to say, but it looks like the people that are on it right now are serious about their subscription. The culture is a bit techie with an awful amount of developers on it. I personally like the culture a lot, but since the network is growing (fast) this is still subject to change. I will have to grow my network though, because at the moment I am using the Global Timeline to see some activity.
There is a whole eco-system in development with an iOS client to start with. I still have to request access to test it. It is a good thing that there is an open API for now, but we’ll see how fast the network will grow and what that means for these kind of decisions.
I will keep you posted on the progress.