Goodbye, App.net

This time last year, the new kid on the block was App.net, which was a bit like Twitter.

(The developer is adamant that App.net is not just a Twitter clone, it’s an entire platform! Microsoft said much the same thing about Mesh / Live Mesh / whatever: it’s not just file synchronization! But that’s all anybody ever did with it.)

App.net was interesting, but had one big drawback: a $50/year price tag. All through the summer of 2013, and into the fall, I dithered; then – surprise! – the price dropped to $36/year, just after I’d had a minor windfall (i.e., credit-card cash-back check), so I signed up.

I pretty much abandoned Twitter. I set up an App.net to Twitter autoforward, so my Twitter account wasn’t completely dormant; but my heart wasn’t in it.

Life on App.net was pretty good. Then, on May 6th, the developers posted a this-is-not-a-swan-song! swan song:

…the renewal rate was not high enough for us to have sufficient budget for full-time employees. After carefully considering a few different options, we are making the difficult decision to no longer employ any salaried employees….

As of today, App.net is still up & running, but it’s different now. People are leaving, going back to Twitter. Some of them are setting up Twitter to App.net autoforwards, but the focus has shifted back to Twitter.

Yesterday, I joined them. I downgraded my App.net account, so come October they won’t ding my credit card for $36. I shut down the autoforwards I’d set up last year. I deleted Netbot from my iPhone & from the iPad. I moved my App.net bookmark to the Inactive folder in Safari and Chrome.

And I resumed posting directly to Twitter.