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I was recently inundated with emails and tweets from the App.net community, who were none too pleased with the fact that a previous article I wrote focused almost exclusively on the microblogging features of the main App.net website.

App.net, they tell me, is much more than that. It’s a platform which has empowered developers to create innovative consumer-facing products. I was skeptical at first, but I checked it out. Turns out it’s true. App.net is the engine humming inside of a lot of interesting websites and apps. Here’s some of the best.

Wait, What’s App.net?

We’ve covered App.net Everything You Need To Know About App.net - The "Other" Social Network Everything You Need To Know About App.net - The "Other" Social Network App.net was born out of frustration with the status quo. How much do you know about it? Read More in the past. If you’ve missed it, let’s recap.

App.net a pretty new microblogging site in the same vein as Twitter, although it has a distinctive edge. Firstly, it comes without adverts and promises to protect the privacy of its users by vowing to never flog their data to the highest bidder. It’s a revolutionary concept, especially in an age where the adage ‘If you don’t pay for a product, you are the product’ has never been truer.

This independence and integrity comes from their pricing model, which requires users to pay a monthly fee to unlock the full potential of the site. This hasn’t seemed to be much of a deterrent, and App.net has a thriving user community.

But what is it other than a microblogging site?

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Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is big business. We know that, based upon the plethora of crowdfunding Is Crowdfunding For Everyone? The Successes & Failures Is Crowdfunding For Everyone? The Successes & Failures Here's a quick glimpse of the three most successful crowdfunding projects, as well as the three most devastating failures. Read More websites which have sprung up in recent years. Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, Gofundme. You know what I mean. Well, here’s another one to add to the list.

appnet-backer

Backer is one such crowdfunding site. Owned by the guys behind App.net, it’s Kickstarter with a difference. It allows developers to fund the addition of features to existing products. In their own words:

A Backer crowdfunding page corresponds to a single feature or service, created by the people who are responsible for building it. It’s up to that team to decide what feature to hypothetically build and what financial commitment they’d like to see in order to build it.

Developers aren’t obligated to integrate App.net into their products, although you need an App.net account to post a project or product. Backers can also pay using standard credit cards, as well as Bitcoin.

Journaling

Did you have an awesome day, and want to capture it in the visceral form of words on a screen? Was today terrible, and you want to silently vent to yourself?

Sounds like you need to start a journal. We’ve written about the benefits of maintaining a private journal The Beginner's Guide to Digital Journaling  The Beginner's Guide to Digital Journaling  Maintaining a private journal is a great way to build your writing skills, spill out your thoughts, desires, worries, and reflections on paper. The very act of writing itself can often help you think through... Read More in the past, and while I don’t do it myself, I know a lot of people who do and benefit greatly from it.

appnet-ohai

Ohai is one of many journalling apps which you can download right this second. Available on iOS, it allows you to store your private and personal memories in the safe space of your App.net account. It also comes with social media functionality. If you want to share your private memories with Twitter or App.net, you can if you so wish.

Ohai is available on the Apple App Store, and for $2.99.

Photo Sharing

Sunlit is yet another iOS app powered by the App.net platform.

Its tagline is “Sunlit isn’t for all of your photos. Just the best ones. It’s for the photos that tell a story.” From that, you get the general gist of the application. It allows you to collate and aggregate photos into events and timelines, whilst using the App.net framework to store the photos themselves.

appnet-sunlit

Whereas Flickr is a general-purpose photo bucket, Sunlit is evidently more about creating a narrative using the photos you take with your phone camera.

Sunlit requires iOS 7, and can be downloaded for free from the Apple App Store.

Conclusion

App.net is a pretty interesting concept as a microblogging site, but apparently, it’s much more than that. While it hasn’t attracted the same degree of popular usage which Facebook and Twitter enjoy, it has still managed to attract developers en-masse.

Are there any killer App.net fueled apps I missed? Drop me a comment below.

  1. Dann A
    March 18, 2014 at 7:57 am

    These are probably nice things to have if you already use App.net, but none of them seem all that likely to attract more users to me. I mean, you already have plenty of options for doing these things. Sunlit sounds pretty cool, but I feel like there have to be more apps out there that do the same thing. I really want App.net to succeed, but I don't know if this is going to be much help. What do you think, Matt?

  2. Rob
    March 17, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    This sounds pretty interesting, but do you think they can really create something sustainable when they have something that seems so much more than just a minimal viable product? (i.e. are they trying to do too much?)

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