App.net Tweaks Twitter, Dangles Big Money At Developers

The alternative social network wants to rewards its developers with at least $20,000 a month, but only if users find their apps useful and enjoyable.

In an effort to prove an alternative social network can succeed by putting a premium on developers and not being a slave to ad revenue, App.net has launched a developer incentive program that pays out at least $20,000 a month.

The opt-in incentive program uses direct user feedback to consider how much money developers should get, since it was designed to reward them for building great products that users actually use.

Each month, App.net users will get an email from the network that includes a slider for each app they use, which they can move around to indicate how useful they found a particular app. Then App.net combines that feedback with usage statistics to generate individual developer "scores" that determine what percentage of the incentive pool they should receive.

In August, App.net founder Dalton Caldwell wrote an open letter to Mark Zuckerberg accusing Facebook and Twitter of being "willing to screw with users and 3rd-party developer ecosystems, all in the name of ad-revenue."

The new network, which charges $50 a year for membership, is one of several attempts by small, new networks to build an audience without jumping on the backs of giants such as Facebook and Twitter.

[Image: Flickr user 401(K)2012]

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