App.net crawls out from Twitter's shadow with Broadcast: notifications for anything
App.net CEO Dalton Caldwell once promised a better Twitter — "a real time social feed without the ads" that wouldn’t crush the dreams of its developer community. A little over a year later, App.net has accumulated 200,000 users and a vibrant community of developers building great apps, but it’s unclear how many are actively using App.net for its original purpose. Caldwell claims he never intended to build a Twitter clone after all — that was just part of the marketing. He built a platform for social apps which included support for push notifications, messages, feeds, and profiles, but none of it'd really stuck. Caldwell decided that something needed to change.
"What I’ve been wracking my brain on is what we need for this company to reach its full potential — to have a really crisp value proposition for normals," says Caldwell. He arrived at Broadcast, which launches today on iOS and Android. Broadcast is a universal push-notification service that alerts you when things you care about happen on the internet. The service lets you sign up to receive alerts when The Vergecast is live, for example, or when Kim Kardashian posts to Instagram, or when your site goes down.
Sounds interesting. You can post rich notifications to an App.net broadcast channel and subscribers' phones can get detailed, formatted notifications (optionally with images). There are a lot of possible use cases for something like this.