Alex Arena on the potential of making apps for the “Alpha” App.net service:
So for now, a Twitter app has the ability to be 5.7x more lucrative than one built for App.net.
Don’t write off Twitter just yet.
And now, Marco Arment’s counter argument to this:
App.net’s userbase, while small, exclusively comprises early adopters who were willing and able to spend $50 for an account on a service with a huge, free, and generally better competitor. They’ll pay good money for what they want: a great Alpha client could probably fetch $10 on iOS and $20 on Mac.
There’s a lot more competition in the Twitter-client market than the Alpha-client market, and Twitter’s own free apps are good enough for most people. But those big-spending Alpha early adopters are starving for great clients.
With today’s 100,000-token cap and restrictions probably increasing in the future, the long-term potential for a Twitter client has a hard limit. The long-term potential for an Alpha client is more likely to be greater, even though it might take a little while to surpass 100,000 potential customers.
See also: why developers tend to make so much more money on iOS than on Android, despite the Android installed base being significantly larger.
I wholeheartedly agree with Marco on this, and I’m looking forward to seeing where App.net does end up going.