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App.net (app.net)
124 points by sahillavingia on July 14, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 59 comments

So I actually tried out this service today for the company I am working at.

I do not see much value being created from the current offering. Sure, it makes a pretty page and gives you analytics for people being sent to that particular page. This really doesn't solve a problem though. I would say that about half the people discover apps through the app store itself. Developers needs analytics in the app store, not on some redirect page. As it stands, this is just another layer.

I really did like the feature that a user can send an SMS to their phone number for an install link. And that button can be replicated anywhere. This is pretty useful. Everything else, I don't see why appstores can't integrate those features into their appstores.

What value is this creating for me as a developer? A custom app landing page? I could have done that myself. Analytics? I can throw Google Analytics onto a custom landing page. Can I track how many people hit my app.net/domain page and then proceeded to install? Nope, but Google/Apple can certainly create that value (and maybe even charge for it).

Edit: I eat my words below because I didn't know what I was talking about. Thanks for pointing out bruceboughton and mbarr.

<uninformed>The "send to phone" button on app store webpages is a simple feature Google and Apple can copy straight from Amazon's Kindle playbook. If I couldn't send book samples to my Kindle while browsing Amazon on my computer, I'd miss out on checking out and buying a lot of books.</uninformed>

That's been possible on Android Market since the website was launched in February:


This is part of iCloud isn't it? Anything you purchase is synced to your devices, so you can purchase in the store on your desktop/laptop and it is synced to your phone/iPad/iPod.

Absolutely love the SMS feature.

I think what some people forget is that there are only about 500K iphone apps in the app store (about the same for Android? not sure on that), and the store is barely three years old. Over the next few years I bet that number is going to explode, providing a huge opportunity for a service like app.net.

Where have I seen that SMS feature before? I think it's been a key feature of the webOS app pages for the last year and a half, as seen at http://developer.palm.com/appredirect/?packageid=com.rovio.a...

The site is really well done, and the selection of launch partners is great. I like the App.net app pages much better than the Apple app pages that try to launch iTunes. I don't think it matters much whether it's nameofapp.app.net or app.net/nameofapp.

Thank you very much.

I spent quite a bit of time before we launched talking to app developers across the spectrum of size of company, and types of app.

Seems a bit weird to me that they're effectively selling URLs of the form app.net/appname rather than selling subdomains like appname.app.net.

I'd love to see someone make use of the TLD .app


It has been registered by someone, however.

Who? And, already? Doesn't registration for new TLDs not open until next year?

I've been following this project:


It would be sad to learn they've been pipped.



How ironic that a TLD gets squatted (as it looks like.)

Domaining to the top.

And what do you do for a living?

Eyes glistening: "I'm a top level domainer."

That's a registration under an alternative DNS root, run by INAIC:


It has nothing to do with ICANN's new TLD system, since registration hasn't opened.

Seems a bit weird to me that they link to fake examples to real apps in their "Featured apps". Unless they got permission?

EDIT: They are legitimate testimonials.

Hey this is Dalton. I absolutely got permission from every single app developer on the featured apps page.

Oh, very good. Maybe featured apps should be renamed to Featured Examples?

Just because if I google for Evernote iphone app, it takes me to the "legitimate" website of Evernote, not http://app.net/evernote

I never knew that Google takes you directly to the official website of a product. What I know is that google ranks websites based on keywords, links, content... (SEO) and show you (typically) the 10 first most pertinent results.

Being the first on Google doesn't mean that you are the official/legitimate website of that product.

No apology? You just made a completely baseless accusation and are passing it off as a conclusion that other reasonable people should have made.

We're one of the featured apps (ColorSchemer). We granted permission and appreciate the support.

Especially given the recent guidance that subdomains are less prone to penalty by the Google Panda update.

Might want to retool or at least offer the option for appname.app.net

There was no recent guidance that subdomains are less prone to penalty by the Google Panda update.

There was just an SEO blogger with poor reading comprehension and an axe to grind.


As they say, the ones making money during the gold rush, are the one selling picks.

Having recently built a mini site to host info about an iPhone app I can appreciate where the idea is going... unfortunately their pricing seems fairly out of place with what's being offered.

I built a small supporting site and tossed it up on Google Apps (really just plain HTML) for free hosting... yes, I needed to set the template and Google Analytics code myself but is that really worth the $2.50 - $4.00 a month?

Might I humbly suggest a small change... bump the free level to 5 apps so that I get hooked on the ease of use and simplicity of your model then group together upgrades in wide bands... maybe 5-10 for the second tier and 10-50 for the third tier.

Oh, and get Windows Phone support in there... there likely isn't much demand but it is my preferred platform and I'd like it to succeed. :)

That's good feedback, thanks.

Do you really have trouble spending $4 a month on marketing a product you want to make money from?

This is EXACTLY what I've been looking for. I was going to hire a designer to make a simple splash page like this for my app but it probably would have costs a lot more than "free" just to get that done including the hosting.


By the name alone I was expecting a Microsoft App store

Dalton, why can't I upload and play music or view photos from app.net? I am confused

thanks for troll, anthony :p

Great site, well done! I found a few problems with your templates you may want to look at (especailly with a longer app name):


http://i.imgur.com/DgnnK.png (I had to highlight the text to see it)


you are right, that doesn't look great.

Could you try reducing the font size of the Title text size (under the "Styles" tab in the theme editor)?

Did that! looks much better now, thanks!

When trying to upload a second screenshot I'm getting this (google chrome): http://i.imgur.com/Agk8l.png (after a refresh it seems to be working properly.. odd bug)

Just rolled out a fix for that bug, could you try it again?

We're doing it live here.

I managed to upload all my screenshots, seems to be working, thank you! the site looks great.

So I just tried out the service and am debating whether to use it or not. I've been looking for something like this, but dealing with the domain issue and providing a bit of automation for icon/image grabbing would go a long way for me. Also wondering if there are plans for multi-platform support? My company has many apps that exist on both iPhone and Android.

The importer isn't quite ready for prime time.

We support iPhone and Android currently.

Feel free to email me at dalton -at- app dot net, would be happy to answer any additional questions you have :)

It looks great. Can you use your own app domain name instead of using app.net/yourappname?

Thanks :)

re:custom domains, not at this point, but that is definitely one of the most common feature requests we have gotten so far.

Very interesting idea, and an even more interesting domain name.

One thing though: how can a user download the app itself? Must he/she be on an iPhone or are you just advertising the apps themselves and expecting the user to visit the App Store to get them?

We are building tools to help app developers gain insight and drive engagement. There are myriad issues around creating alternate app stores, so we are very intentionally trying to build on top of existing atores.

In terms of how a user that hits one of the pages and actually get the app on their phone, we have a couple of novel approaches (in addition to the standard iTunes link): click "get the app" and you will see a place to SMS a link to the phone, email a link, etc.

I see. Well, I wish you and your team the best of luck.

There's a big "Get this app" button on the app's page, which opens up a widget with a link to the app store listing as well as a form to have it sent to your phone directly by SMS.

Hi this is Dalton, CEO of App.net

hn people might remember me from this: http://startupschool.org/schedule.html

Feel free to ask me any questions you have. You can email me at dalton -at- app dot net

That is one sexy domain name you got there!

Thanks, I spent an embarrassing amount of time domaining over the past couple of years. At last it finally paid off :)

Why did such an ambitious project choose private registration? It makes it look unnecessarily shady. Why not set Mixed Media Labs [1] as the Registrant?

[1] https://manage.app.net/about/

Cool, flavors.me for phone apps. Their list of apps that use the service is rather impressive, did those companies add themselves or did app.net create profiles for all of them?

Those were beta testers that I showed the service to before we launched, and explicitly gave us permission to feature them.

Pretty impressive in that case! Great app idea.

Looks great. Is there any way for analytics ignore clicks from the creator? Just got an inflated click count while testing out different templates.

Good point. That would probably be a way to filter out specific IP addresses, right?

Given the minisites are all under a single domain, wouldn't serving a cookie to the author be sufficient?

And cookies too.

This is a good idea for a business! Custom site design of that quality can easily run someone a couple grand.

Feature request: room for iPad screenshots!

Might be a good idea to add some control over the screenshot slideshow.. clicking the screen to go to next image would be fine

Nice. and nice domain too.

this might sound lazy, but why don't you scrape the content (description, icon, screens) when i add my app?

I don't think that's lazy, that's smart ;)

We actually wrote a lot of code to do exactly that, but it wasn't good enough to make it into the launch. Would rather have less features that are rock solid than a flaky importer.

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