The internet is abuzz about the App.net project that has shattered its fundraising goals days before its target date listed on their pseudo-Kickstarter site. If you are a professional who handles social media campaigns or you're a business owner looking to hire a firm to handle a campaign for you, this development should pique your interest.
Obviously, it's much too early to start saying things like "Twitter better watch out!" because the service hasn't even launched yet. But the business model that App.net is looking to operate under changes the way social media services may be used to advertise. In fact, the App.net team sounds downright opposed to advertising.
They can accomplish this by charging a $50 a year subscription fee. There have been previous attempts at subscription based social networks, including Diaspora, which has run into funding problems. With the buzz building around App.net and the amount of money that's already been raised, it could prove to be a strong niche service.
Its initial reach won't be as vast as Twitter's or Facebook's because 1) those services are free and 2) they have millions and millions of users. Most users are just ordinary people sharing what they like and hopefully buying things they see advertised. If App.net successfully launches, it could be a useful tool for getting in touch with major tech leaders rather than traditional customers. After all, early adopters of App.net are most likely going to be in the tech industry or business owners.
Social media experts should keep an eye on these developments. While App.net may not provide a way of marketing directly to customers, you could make some valuable, high powered connections with major players who subscribe to the site.