App.net goes ‘freemium’ with new free tier – but only if you’re invited

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Paid Twitter rival App.net has today announced that they will be offering a free tier – however, you have to be one of the few people to be invited onto that tier by paid users. And there are some limitations including a cap on how many people you can follow.

Free users can only follow 40 users, have 500MB of file storage and can upload a file with a maximum size of 10MB. If you’re a paid user, in comparison, you get 10GB of storage. And as a bit of an incentive for paid users: if you’re invited user follows at least 5 other accounts and uses a third party app – you both get 100MB of additional storage. We suggest one of those accounts be our new App.net account.

So why now? App.net’s API has made sure that there are a lot of applications on a wide variety of platforms. And they want users to actually use these services. In a blog post, founder Dalton Caldwell wrote, “As stated at the time, the goal of the backing period was to determine whether a paid market existed for our platform.”

“Since there are numerous examples of freemium business models which didn’t succeed, we wanted to be very careful in our approach to pricing. We have been spending the past few months learning and analyzing data in order to come up with a plan for a sustainable and beneficial free tier.”

Don’t forget – if you want access to it now: you can always pay for it. It’s only $36 a year or $5 a month. That way, you avoid the 40 user limit.