App.net Revisited

I have had a close eye on how App.net is doing from the very beginning, although I was too skeptical to be among the backers of App.net in the “kickstarted” phase.

In the meantime, the yearly contribution has been lowered from $50 to a more reasonable $36. The stupid name, for some reason, seems to stick.

Fortunately, it is possible to access the site from “outside” without being a paying member. It quickly became obvious to me that the community had found a nice place to talk and everyone was starting to make oneself comfortable with the new environment.

Some people, like Manton Reece and Ben Brooks, have openly announced that they would leave Twitter for good and entirely move their stuff over to App.net.

Incidentally, with the release of Netbot for iOS App.net got a huge boost in terms of popularity. And frankly, I can perfectly see why: the corresponding product for Twitter, Tweetbot, is a real game changer on both iOS and OS X.

So I figured it may be time to check it out more closely and signed up for an account. OK, done. What next? Obviously, the most straight forward way (especially for new users) to access the site is to use the web app.

However, I’m not like that. I’d happily opt for a dedicated client wherever possible. On iOS, this is a no-brainer because it is hard to beat Netbot. “Problem” solved.

For a service that has been around for such a short period of time there is already an impressive number of choices of clients around on different platforms. And who knows, maybe the future will come up with a kick-ass competitor on par with or even better then Netbot.

On OS X, on the other hand, it seems that clients still seem to have a long way to go.

Personally, I have tried out Appetizer and Wedge and while Wedge seems to be the more stable of the two, none of them finally made me happy.

Both apps have had several crashes on my machine and also I have experienced some weird update problems in the GUI. On the other hand, I also see that a lot of work has already been invested in both apps and I believe that both have a good chance to improve over time and gather a happy and satisfied user community around them.

And yet, I am personally looking forward to the leaked version of Netbot for OS X that is currently in private beta and I would not settle for a “final” choice until I have given Netbot a spin also on OS X.

Overall, I have to admit that although (or may it is because) App.net feels so much like Twitter, a Twitter of a more fortunate parallel universe, it feels good to use the service and participate in the conversations.

Admittedly, only a fraction1 of the people that I use to follow on Twitter are also on App.net. My attention is limited, so I muted the Twitter accounts of all people I follow on App.net so that the unread Twitter timeline is a lot less lengthy, even after some days of just not paying attention.

Believe it or not, within two hours of my arrival on App.net, I already earned two SPAM followers. The theory that by switching to App.net you’d get rid of those is unquestionably wrong, as far as I’m concerned.

  1. It is a higher number than I initially estimated. Thanks to friendfind.co, it could not be easier to find the accounts of people I follow on Twitter also on App.net.