Apparently App.net (ADN) is not doing well. There are not enough members signing up in order to get a useful service. Most Apps for ADN are still amateuristic, and that is because there are not enough users to develop for. ADN calls this the chicken and egg problem. Reading their blogpost however I get a different message, ADN is doing very well and now is the time to open up a free tier…
Although App.net has had only paid account tiers thus far, we initially conceived of App.net as a freemium service. It took some time to get to this point, but we are now ready to make this vision a reality.
A couple of months ago I signed up for ADN, for $50 a year. But very soon I decided that it was not my platform and that indeed it was a very small and closed platform. At the very same time ADN lowered the price to $36, I think to attract more users. My conclusion is that the price is still not low enough and that that is the reason to open up a free tier.
Dalton Caldwell needs a lot of words to explain that the free tier was always planned. I expect he is afraid that paying members won’t be amused by this introduction. The big question “why now is the time to introduce a free tier” is not answered at all. There is a lot of explaining what is accomplished, but no answers to why they need a free tier.
But, on a positive note, I think this is good for ADN. I hope for them that this attracts more users. More users to make them successful, because if they don’t grow it won’t last long. The reason I left ADN is that it was a lot of money for a small, mostly passive user. But this free tier with a maximum of 40 people to follow fits me very well, so if someone has an invite left, please drop me a note.