Does the world need more than one Twitter? How about 10,000 of them? That is how many sites are running on the hosted version of StatusNet, which went into private beta at our Realtime CrunchUp last November. Today, StatusNet is opening up its hosted service to all comers in a public beta.
You can think about StatusNet as the WordPress of microblogging. StatusNet is open-source software which can either be downloaded and run on your own enterprise servers or now on StatusNet’s hosted servers. Basic service is free, with plans to charge for premium levels down the line. The premium versions will be ad-free, support unlimited users, larger file sizes, your own domain and design, Facebook and Twitter integration, and XMPP feeds.
CEO Evan Prodromou describes the various ways StatusNet can be used: as an open-source microblogging server akin to WordPress, as the basis for an online community “(ning.com for microblogging); for enterprise (Open Source Yammer), or for a single user to own their social media presence (your own ping.fm).” One of the cooler features of StatusNet is OStatus, which lets you follow people on different social networks all from within your hosted microblogging enevironment.
The largest site hosted on StatusNet is the company’s own identi.ca, but StatusNet will also be hosting microblogging sites for
ABC News, Shit My Dad Says (not live yet at the time of this posting), the Twit Army, Kirsty Ally’s weight loss community Phitter, Germany’s Bleeper, and Today’s Mama. All together, there are more than 1 million registered users across all 10,000 StatusNet sites.
Shit My Dad Says has 1.2 million followers on Twitter and a TV pilot in the works starring William Shatner. He will use StatusNet to push his updates to Twitter while controlling the advertising.
ABC News plans to use StatusNet as a central dashboard to push out its headlines and updates to different social networks. Update: Apparently, ABC News changed its mind and won’t be using the service now.
StausNet is based in Montreal and raised $1 million in seed capital last year.