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App.net introduces File API

Provides potential for future unbundled social services

Social network App.net has announced its File API, which will further differentiate it from Twitter and, potentially, provide extra value for users keen on unbundled services. 

We reported on App.net last year, which founder Dalton Caldwell repositioned as an alternative to Twitter. Arguably the most important aspects of App.net were its subscription model that freed it from a reliance on advertising with the promise of owning your own data.

“We believe that advertising-supported social services are so consistently and inextricably at odds with the interests of users and developers that something must be done,” said Caldwell.

At the time, Caldwell also noted that in not being beholden to advertisers, his service could open the doors to third-party developers. Instead of clamping down on clients (something Twitter was previously accused of by the industry), App.net positively encouraged them. 

Caldwell announced the File API on the App.net blog. He said unbundling would enable you to try out a new photo-sharing service without moving your photos and social graph, adding that the concept “gives the user power to pick the software that best suits their needs, rather than being forced to use the software made by the company that manages their data”.

Complementing the File API, App.net’s focus is shifting solely from messaging and communication to “expanding the scope of App.net-enabled social applications”, and each member will be provided with a 10GB bucket of file storage that can be accessed by App.net applications to read/write files.

Additionally, in providing an extra service on top of the basic messaging, App.net now has scope to amend its pricing structure, perhaps even opening up a basic free tier to attract more users.

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