Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

App.net Is Now a “Freemium” Service

Ballsy move from Dalton Caldwell, with a catch:

To get access to the App.net free tier, you must have an invite. These invites are being distributed to current App.net members on paid plans.

This was a smart setup from Caldwell from the beginning. He began as a paid service, then created a free option when he found buoyancy. Other sites — Twitter, Facebook, etc. — do the opposite, and scramble to find a profitable angle. Caldwell has created a company that isn’t indebted to venture capitalists, doesn’t serve ads, and appears to be scalable.

If the barrier of entry created by being a paid-only service was the main thing that dissuaded Twitter from being worried about a competitor, they should be tugging at their collars a little now. Nothing will change overnight, but if Twitter continues its slow march to try to become profitable, there could be an interesting shift in the user base.

In other news, the whole website got a redesign to make it not look like a skinned Bootstrap app. Nice.