App.net, the freemium social network that charges a flat $36 per year membership fee and then forgoes advertisements, has just launched a free annual membership program.
The platform now provides any users who are invited to the network by a paying member the ability to sign up for their first year absolutely free.
Since launching in July App.net has tweaked its platform, built out third-party apps and worked with users to Alpha best its early systems.
According to an announcement on the App.net free beta page:
“We wanted to take sufficient time to build a robust and powerful API.”
The company offers a Twitter type service, messaging, and a cloud platform for file saving and sharing.
Free subscription users can follow up to 40 other people and store up to 500 MB of data. File sizes are restricted to 10 MB under the free program. In comparison a paid membership provides 10 GB of storage.
According to App.net officials they will be “closely monitoring how the invitation system is working.” If the program needs to be tweaked the company will make those changes on the spot.
App.net was designed in response to Twitter removing full blown API access for many third-party developers, it will be interesting to see if many of those developers full their full support behind App.net.
Do you think a freemium social network that focuses on technology and not ad dollars can succeed in a world filled with free options?