Why I Think App.net is Awesome


I’d like to assume that you have at least heard of App.net. But if you haven’t, it’s a social network that is very unique in that it’s actually a social network. It is a paid network $36 a year or $100 for developers, and it’s well worth it in my opinion.

Think of it this way: on Facebook, you join groups, share pictures and events going on in your life. In exchange for this, people “like” your activity and might even comment “thats cool” or “sorry to hear” and that’s about it. On Twitter, you follow people you find interesting and retweet the funny or important things they say. More or less, you just make statements there, and I equate it to shouting in a crowded street. It’s only when you distinguished one of those shouts from the rest, do you have a chance to hear anything in reply. Don’t get me wrong – I do love Twitter, but the company behind it only seems to interested in promoting their own apps and acquiring others, sucking their features in and then leaving them for dead.

On App.net (or ADN as we like to call it) you can still post your thoughts and content you like as you’ve done on other networks- but be prepared, complete strangers will reply and want to discuss these things with you. For me, thats what makes ADN special. I could post that I’m having an awful day and I would get many replies wishing me well, asking if I need to talk, and more. If I posted something like that on Facebook, someone I hardly know would at most just “Like” it, if I’m lucky.

iPhone image on 2013-05-21 at 09-38-42This is one of ADN’s best apps to date, Felix

Some of you may be on ADN – after all, just a few months ago, they added a free tier. With the free tier, ADN limits your storage for uploaded content to 500MB and the number of people you can follow to 40.

This brings me to three pro tips for ADN newbies, if you will:

  • First off, follow people, lots of people. Following people is a key to growing and enjoying the ADN experience. Most of the people that complain about ADN are only following 15-70 people. I follow 183 people and am adding more everyday. Once you fill your stream you get a feel for whats going on and what people are talking about and who they are talking to.
  • Secondly, JUMP IN! If you see a conversation and want to say something about it, do it. I promise you’ll make friends and get followers. And don’t be afraid to stat your own discussion about anything, some people think that ADN is just for discussing technology and technology related things. While it can be and is often a great place for that, you can honestly talk about anything.

Screenshot on 2013-05-21 at 09.37.42Blims, the media sharing service built completely on top of App.net’s platform

  • Finally and maybe most importantly, you have to use a good app for it. What I mean by that is a app that has a global feed tab, a unified timeline, and a option to show replies that are directed at people you don’t follow. This way you can get a feel and context for the conversations. I recommend Felix and Riposte, very clean designs in both I personally use Felix the most. If you are in to posting media I recommend #PAN, which is a client that uploads media to a hosting website for App.net, BLIMS, looks really cool and works very well.

If you are really into social media, or are a bit nostalgic for the chat rooms of old, you should at least give the free membership a try. Some people appreciate it because its like Twitter in its early phase. I personally can’t speak to that myself, but I think ADN is a groundbreaking platform. I’ve had a paid membership since last October, and I’m just about ready to completely ditch other networks for it.

How about yourself? Not on App.net yet? Click this link and sign up for App.net free tier plan.

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