App.net sounds good but…

Posted on August 3, 2012

imeem.com founder Dalton Caldwell’s Audacious Proposal to create a paid-for messaging service sounds fine, but I think there’s a “but” that hasn’t been brought up yet.  I’m not sure what the “but” is, but my guess is that there will be more revenue generation than just membership fees.

Dalton proposes charging his users/developers for use of the service.  On the signup/promotional page, he lists 3 tiers – Member, Developer, and Pro with corresponding prices.  He talks about supplying APIs, documentation, etc. to differing degrees, depending on Tier.  That’s all well-and-fine, but I don’t understand who covers the infrastructure costs as things ramp up.  What happens if I build the next Twitter, or Facebook, using his API(s) and it’s a huge success.  Suddenly, I, the $100/year developer am incurring thousands of dollars a day in bandwidth usage, due to all of the non-paid users accessing my Twitter-killer service.  Who eats those costs?  Or, are all of my users going to have to stump 50 bucks to access my app, to cover there usage?  Is the membership price just padded to cover that?

Don’t get me wrong.  I hate being poked, prodded, and stalked all over the internet.  I really and truly hope it works, but I’m just not sure without seeing more specifics, like an actual business plan.

Anyway, just my 2 cents.

 

Jeff

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