App.net Promises User & Developer Driven Social Network

In an era of sponsored tweets and sponsored Facebook pages, App.net promises to be a social network designed for users and not for advertisers. “We believe that advertising-supported social services are so consistently and inextricably at odds with the interests of users and developers that something must be done,” reads the site’s beta page.

Rather than a free model like Facebook or Twitter, App.net requires users to pay a minimum of $50 a year to join a “real-time social feed without the ads.” The crowd-sourced funding initiative, which has already raised almost $700,000, more than meeting its $500,000 goal which ends tomorrow.

In a video (which we’ve embedded above), App.net founder Dalton Caldwell explains the why he thinks users should pay. “The reason I am so optimistic about a paid opportunity is that it aligns our incentives economically with users and developers. Let me explain that, if we are selling a service our customers are our users and our job is to make our users happy. If we have a free ad-supported service, our customers are advertisers and our job is to make advertisers happy.”