App.net doesn’t have enough capital to pay its full time employees after revealing that subscription renewals have only stretched far enough to keep the service self sustainable.
The ad-free microblogging network, which has drawn comparisons to Twitter, delivered its ‘State of the Union’ update that stated the renewal rate was high enough that App.net is “profitable” and “self sustaining” going forwards.
“Operational and hosting costs are sufficiently covered by revenue for us to feel confident in the continued viability of the service. No one should notice any change in the way the App.net API/service operates. To repeat, App.net will continue to operate normally on an indefinite basis,” stated Dalton Caldwell, co-founder of App.net.
Then came the bad news that the amount of renewals was not enough to provide a budget for full time employees and from here forwards it will no longer employ any salaried members of staff – including Caldwell and his co-founder Bryan Berg.
Caldwell and Berg will, however, still be responsible for the operation of App.net and the service’s Developer Incentive Program will also be wound down to help generate positive cash flow and those enrolled in the program will be contacted in due course.
Contractors will be retained to help with support and operations, and contract help will be sought to assist with specific new development projects. The service will also be open sourcing a larger percentage of the App.net codebase in order for the platform to continue to improve and involve those that have paid to subscribe.
App.net was set up as an alternative social network that uses customer subscriptions to generate funds thus making the service completely ad free. Caldwell and Berg plan to keep the service going just so long as users are supporting it and its indefinite status will hit confidence in it continuing for much longer.
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