Kickstarter alumni App.net – a new paid-for alternative to Twitter – is barely a month into its alpha release, and the site has already seen some impressive statistics.
Founder Dalton Caldwell can now add another "achievement unlocked" to this list: the first dedicated app for App.net on Apple's App Store.
To be fair, AppNet Rhino isn't the first official iOS application to support access to App.net's social stream. That commendation goes to the app Buffer, which allows App.net's users – those paying $50 (£30) for a year's worth of service or $100 (£60) for access to App.net's developer channels – to tap into the site's real-time social feed.
AppNet Rhino, as reported by The Next Web, is the first iOS app that was written from the ground-up to specifically support the service, however. It also managed to beat its competitors to the punch for app approval by Apple and, as TNW mentions, might get beaten on features once a few additional App.net-themed apps see the light of day.
AppNet Rhino currently allows users to view App.net's main timeline, the comments of anyone on the service who has mentioned an individual user, and a global App.net feed, but that's about it.
Nevertheless, the growth of dedicated apps for the App.net service an important milestone, and one that comes right in wake of a litany of impressive usage figures released just a few days ago.
According to Caldwell, more than 250,000 posts had been created on App.net, in total, as of the end of August – and more than half of these were made via third-party clients.
A few days prior, Caldwell had announced that App.net had surpassed 17,500 total users – giving the service at least $875,000 (£550,000) in funding, if everyone were to purchase the base level of service.
While the service amounts to an advertising-free Twitter for users, one of the distinguishing features of App.net is its API access for developers. That's not just a benefit for those looking to code apps, mash-ups, and other services that integrate with App.net's data; users who want to get a bit more out of their real-time experience will also be able to benefit from the App.net developer community's growing body of work.
And, of course, having to pay for access to real-time updates within a community helps to guarantee the authenticity of its members - and cut down on annoyance, spam, and scams.
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