App.net has launched a new crowdfunding service for developers called Backer that focuses on funding a new feature or service. So, instead of getting quick misleading responses to questions posed to users about a startup's next step, developers can see if users are actually going to support it by seeing if they'll fund it.
App.net tested it out on their site and are now making it available to the public.App.net
is a developer platform that launched, in part, to provide a basis for creating alternatives to Twitter and Facebook. In addition to providing support for independent apps, App.net itself is creating specific tools. For example, last Fall they launched App.net Broadcasts
providing free push notifications.
App.net originally funded their project via a self-run crowdfunding campaign. Founder Dalton Caldwell stated
If you recall, App.net wrote our own crowdfunding tool because the Kickstarter TOS specifically didn’t allow software/service businesses. That is still the case."
The impetus for us building and launching this now was that we were trying to figure out whether or not to accept bitcoin for App.net subscriptions, and every single other startup founder I asked said they were wondering the same thing. If you survey the current tools available, there are none that would work for this. When I asked other founders if they would use something like Backer to decide whether or not they should accept Bitcoin they said 'yes'."
The Bitcoin campaign
is still in progress so you can check that out.
Or you can go ahead and apply to crowdfund a feature at Backer
. Noteworthy details include:
You don't have to integrate App.net APIs to use Backer."
Successful open source Backer projects are not charged a fee. Successful proprietary Backer projects will be charged a 5% fee. Unsuccessful Backer campaigns incur no fees."
Backer passes through any credit card processing fees incurred. Bitcoin transactions are processed free of charge."
In other words, successful open source Backer projects will receive 100% of committed Bitcoin funds."
We'll keep you in good company. Projects will be vetted to ensure your Backer project runs alongside other high-quality, legitimate projects."
While it's true that other platforms don't have the same restrictions as Kickstarter and music tech startups are already conducting such campaigns
, App.net's Backer may provide a more focused context for feature-based campaigns.