The Tech Elite

Man Builds Private Twitter Alternative So Users Can Continue to Talk About Twitter

It's hard out there for people who have $50.
picture 1 Man Builds Private Twitter Alternative So Users Can Continue to Talk About Twitter

(Photo: App.net wordcloud by Diego Basch)

App.net, the private social network spearheaded by Valleyite Dalton Caldwell, recently raised $600,000 from the tech community in order to build an “ad-free Twitter alternative.” To keep out the riffraff, App.net charges $50 for subscribers and $100 for developers in order to join the elite handful of people active on the site.

Yesterday, developer Diego Basch published some stats scraped from his first month on App.net. A lot of the findings are unsurprising, given App.net’s origins, but interesting nonetheless:

There are about 20k users, and a little over 300k posts so far. For those who haven’t checked out the service, a post is similar to a tweet only up to 256 characters in length instead of 140….

250 users have generated half of the posts. This is the core group of early fans/evangelists. I’m one of them, at #62 the last time I checked….

A high percentage of appnet’s users are developers.

If 250 of the 20,000 users are generating half the posts, that means half the posts are only generated by 1.25 percent of people. Talk about power users.

Mr. Basch also created a word cloud that aggregates App.net’s most used words every hour. When we clicked to check it out, the biggest word on the cloud was “TWITTER.” Turns out the people on the anti-Twitter still really love talking about Twitter. The difference? The people on App.net have $50.

Follow Jessica Roy on Twitter or via RSS. jroy@observer.com