App.net, or ADN for short, is a competing service to Twitter, etc. that promises an ad free existence by requiring you to pay for a membership.1 You can find me @ichris if you're on ADN.
Today App.net announced on their blog a new file storage API along with 10GB of storage for it's users built around the promise of "unbundling":
Imagine a world in which your social data (e.g. messages, photos, videos) was easier to work with. For instance, imagine you could try out a new photo sharing service without having to move all of your photos and social graph.
For more on why this is interesting at a deeper level on the web, check out an interview with ADN founder Dalton Caldwell at The Verge:
Caldwell won't confirm this, but if you switch the frame from free media to paid storage, with social messaging as a layer on top of that, you now have a model for App.net to offer a free tier. It's Dropbox's model; it's Evernote's; it's Flickr's. It's freemium. Come for the free storage and services, pay more when you run out.
At this point in the web's history, that doesn't sound weird or utopian. It sounds like the oldest thing in the world. But can it work when there are already so many free one-stop shops for social media? Caldwell is betting that as long as people want to own their own data free and clear and keep it one place, it can.
I don't know what the future holds. But I'm glad there's somebody like ADN trying to build a platform to compete with the likes of Twitter and Facebook.