While Twitter alternative App.net garnered a lot of positive press after launching in 2012, the subscription-based social network has mostly been quiet over the last year.
But recently, co-founders Dalton Caldwell and Bryan Berg authored a blog post updating users about the status of the ad-free service. And there is both good and bad news.
First up, the renewal rate for the service has been high enough for App.net to be profitable and self-sustaining for an indefinite length of time. But there is a pretty significant downside:
The bad news is that 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, including founders. Dalton and Bryan will continue to be responsible for the operation of App.net, but no longer as employees. Additionally, as part of our efforts to ensure App.net is generating positive cash flow, we are winding down the Developer Incentive Program. We will be reaching out to developers currently enrolled in the program with more information.
That’s definitely not a good sign. The service, which costs $36 per year or $5 per month, unveiled a freemium tier in early 2013 that limited the maximum number of users that could be followed along with limitations on file storage and file upload size.
While there are a number of advantages compared to Twitter, like a 256-character posting limit, it’ll be interesting to see what the future holds for App.net.
The official iOS app for the service, designed for the iPhone/iPod touch, can be downloaded now in the App Store for free.
For other news today, see: Express Yourself With The Updated Tumblr iOS App, The Powerful, App-Enabled Dropcam Camera Is About To Get A Lot Smarter, and Microsoft Looks Set To Take On Apple’s iPad mini With A Smaller Surface Tablet.