August 17, 2012

An App.net parody:

Ihave50dollars.com is a real-time social feed for people who have $50. Let’s create a service that puts users who have $50 first.

While it is funny, I think this site makes a valid point. I always thought it was strange that App.net was charging regular users. I think a better model would be to allow users to register for free and then charge developers who want access to the App.net platform and those users. By allowing free registration they could build up a larger user base, which would in turn make the platform more attractive to developers.

Developers require more resources, both development and infrastructure, and (hopefully) make money off the platform, so it makes sense that they should have to pay. Imagine if Twitter charged developers a reasonable fee based on the level and amount of access they needed to the Twitter API and eliminated ads. That sounds exactly like what App.net is trying to create and charging developers instead of end-users seems like a much better way to achieve that.