App.net shutting down once and for all in March

Freemium Twitter alternative App.net will finally remove itself from the internet on March 14 after development work stopped in May 2014.

On March 14, social network App.net will be deleting all user data, more than two years after active development on the platform ceased.

In May 2014, App.net co-founders Dalton Caldwell and Bryan Berg laid off all salaried employees, including themselves, as a result of a lack of paying users.

"At that time we made the difficult decision to put App.net into autopilot mode in an effort to preserve funds and to give it ample time to bake," Caldwell and Berg said in a blog post on Thursday. "Since then every dollar App.net has charged has gone towards paying for the hosting and services needed to keep the site running.

"Unfortunately, revenue has consistently diminished over the past 2+ years, and we have been unable to return the service to active development."

The site began as an exclusively paid service, but switched to a freemium model in February 2013.

The co-founders said App.net would immediately cease receiving any new user signups, and any subscription renewals would be stopped. Users will be able to export their data until March 14, at which point all user data will be deleted.

"Ultimately, we failed to overcome the chicken-and-egg issue between application developers and user adoption of those applications," Caldwell and Berg said.

"Our initial developer adoption exceeded expectations, but that initial excitement didn't ultimately translate into a big enough pool of customers for those developers. This was a foreseeable risk, but one we felt was worth taking."

App.net began as a Kickstarter-style 30-day fundraising campaign with a target of $500,000. The target was exceeded as App.net raised $803,000 from more than 12,000 backers.

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