Updates to the App.net Developer Incentive Program

The stated goal of the App.net Developer Incentive Program is to incentivize the creation of applications that people love. The program was introduced 5 months ago, and has been dispersing a total of $20,000 per month to participating developers. It’s been amazing to see the progress the App.net developer ecosystem has made during these few months.

We are making our first set of changes to the program.

First, a brief recap of the Developer Incentive Program:

  • App.net members will receive a monthly email asking them to give feedback on the apps they have used that month. App.net will use some basic algorithms to create defaults as a proxy for how useful that particular app may have been to them. Once the ratings are finished, the member will submit the results which will be added into the Developer Incentive system and used to generate a score for each app.
  • The monthly dollar amount will be allocated to participating developers based on their “scores” in relation to the total score among participating developers.
  • Developers must apply and be accepted into the Incentive Program if they wish to participate.
  • This program is entirely optional, and developers should feel no pressure to participate if they are unable or uninterested in doing so.
  • Developers are free to monetize their applications through their own mechanisms; this program should be thought of as a “bonus” for building software that App.net members use and love.
  • Developers who attempt to influence the Incentive Program by directly soliciting votes from their users will be suspended from the program.

Changes to the Developer Incentive Program, effective March 1:

  • The developer incentive pool will now be raised to $30,000 per month. This is a recognition of both the increased number of participating developers and the increased number of paid App.net accounts.
  • Free tier accounts will be asked to fill out feedback surveys, but that feedback will not be included in the Developer Incentive Program results. Feedback from users on the free tier will be integrated into an overall developer feedback system.
  • The default weighting algorithm will be modified in order to take into account usage of the App.net Messaging and File APIs (in addition to the Post API). It’s important to note that the scores submitted by a voting user will take precedence over default weightings.
  • We will be providing additional data to developers from the ratings process, including aggregate information about voting results.

In addition, we will be adding these additional requirements for Developer Incentive Program eligibility:

  • Every eligible app must have a privacy policy and terms of service. We have made some template terms of service available on Github (under a Creative Commons License) as a way to help developers meet this requirement.
  • Every eligible app must have at least 50 authorized tokens.
  • To be eligible for the Developer Incentive Program, the application must be publicly available and listed in the App.net Directory.

The enrollment form for the Developer Incentive program is available here.

We look forward to seeing additional progress in the developer ecosystem in the coming months, and will continue to modify the program as we learn more.

Reminder: attributes of a great app

Rather than having a large number of “one-size-fits all” apps, we want to encourage developers to think about new and customized experiences across a wide variety of categories.

A great app will be inventive, simple to use, focused, opinionated, and, above all, built with the needs of users in mind.


The App.net team