App.net, the paid social network looking to be an equivalent to Twitter, has announced a new pricing structure that will see a new monthly pricing plan of US$5, and a reduction in the yearly price of US$50 to now US$36. Developer pricing, however, remains the same at US$100.
“Because of this momentum and scale, we’ve decided to introduce a couple of updates to our pricing model,” Dalton Caldwell wrote in a blog post announcing the changes. “Some folks have been asking for a monthly plan since day one, and given all of the progress that has been made in the App.net ecosystem, we think now is a good time to introduce it.”
But what does this mean for existing users who paid that $50 upfront? You’re not going to get a refund. However, users will have their plans extended by several months – for example, my account would have expired in July 2013 has now been extended to March 2014.
Previously, I wrote about App.net and said:
App.net appears to be mostly aimed at the developers anyway, not the user. I feel that it wants to be the ‘third platform’ – an alternative to Facebook and Twitter where developers will integrate it into their products as a way to sign in, or to post to. It already has some support in that direction such as Storify adding App.net to its list of sources for building a Storify page.
Dalton notes that the API has some “level of completeness” and there are several apps for App.net – 10 for iOS, 3 from Android, 1 for Windows Phone, 4 for Mac, several plugins for Chrome and Firefox, and many other web applications. The user base has jumped to nearly 20,000 – which is impressive given that it is already 12 weeks in its alpha build and only started with 10,000.
Again, I’m still questioning its competitiveness with Twitter and Facebook. The community is growing, however, public anger against Facebook and Twitter isn’t big and those who are angry represent a small number.
But hey, things change. Facebook or Twitter might do something really stupid. That being said, the people would flock to the free alternatives instead of App.net.