Sunday, October 28, 2012 – 287 views
— by erikschmidt
It was LongPosts (formerly ADNblog) itself that prompted me to state in my first LongPost, "This is why ADN isn't just a twitter clone." Chat Etzel - (aka @jazzychad) created something I'd never seen in the twitterverse, and something that I doubt will be seen there any time in the forseeable future, given twitter's newly-applied business model. LongPosts a really spiffy exploration of the sorts of things you can do with ADN. It's also the kind of thing twitter is now squashing with a mallet.
Adam Fields (@fields) then asked me for some examples to back up my assertion. Other folks jumped in, and an interesting discussion ensued. Adam's question is a valid one, and after thinking about it for a bit, here are the the most important reasons why I feel ADN is not a twitter clone:
ADN started with a clear revenue model. Twitter did not. ADN obtained $803,000 in funding from a user base of 12,000 to start the service. ADN's revenue model is built around getting paid by users of the service, while the model twitter arrived at after several years and over $1.1B in funding, is built around getting paid by advertisers. ADN's revenue interests are aligned with those of users and third-party developers, while twitter's revenue interests are aligned with those of advertisers. I go into detail as to why I think the ADN approach is worth trying in this post: Freedom, Openness, and Paid Access Social Networks.
From the beginning, ADN has been clear that Alpha is intended to be the first service of many offered atop the ADN platform. Twitter initially used its API as a way to bring in third-party developers, but ultimately could find no way to monetize without winnowing down third-party access to the API and pushing users to official twitter apps. In stark contrast, ADN is trying a developer incentive program that is designed to further align the interests of ADN, third-party developers, and end users.
Third-party developers are creating a vibrant array of apps, services, and libraries, and some are already moving beyond Alpha, with apps like ChatView, Patter and (of course) LongPosts, that create new user experiences atop the ADN platform. In keeping with twitter's focus on user metrics, the lion's share of third-party twitter apps (excluding clients) seem to relate user activity analysis, rather than the creation of new types of user-to-user functionality.
One more note: Short messaging systems have been with us for decades. It is easy to fixate on the fact that Alpha looks a lot like twitter, but to me that is the least important point of comparison. It is also one that is likely to shift as ADN evolves and expands in directions that twitter (because of it's business model) cannot follow.
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