App.net, Dalton Caldwell’s audacious Twitter clone, just reached its $500,000 funding goal with almost two days to spare. Just a few days ago, it looked unlikely that Caldwell’s user and developer supported ad-free Twitter clone would reach its funding goal. A last-minute push of new sponsors, though, just pushed App.net past its funding goal. The project currently has over 7,500 backers, including almost 6,000 people who used the campaign to pre-pay $50 for an annual App.net membership and just over 50 backers who put down $1,000 for access to the service’s developer tools, phone support and a personal meeting with Caldwell.
While our own MG Siegler is rather skeptical about App.net’s long-term potential, there seems to be a sizable contingent of users and developers who are looking for a viable alternative to Twitter (and who are willing to pay for it).
App.net promises to give its users total control over their data and “to support 3rd-party devs making a living and maintaining a good lifestyle.” Caldwell argues that an ad-supported social network can never put its users and developers first.
You can see App.net’s alpha in action here,
App.net, of course, isn’t the first company trying to disrupt Twitter and/or Facebook. The most prominent recent entrant in this market is probably Diaspora, which ran a Kickstarter campaign to get started. While it’s still under active development, the project never quite took off.