Improvements to the App.net invitation system

Over the past few months, the team at App.net has been working hard on improving our out-of-the box experience. As part of that effort, we’d like to highlight some new features that are now generally available.

Changes to the App.net invitation system

Screen Shot 2013-07-11 at 12.09.03 PMAll App.net accounts now have access to invitations. Each account has a unique invitation code that can be shared via email, sms, etc. If someone signs up via your invitation code they will automatically follow the account that invited them. You may access your unique invitation code here.

Changes to App.net follow buttons

Screen Shot 2013-07-11 at 12.36.45 PMA few weeks ago, we released follow buttons. Starting now, if someone clicks on a follow button, and they are not already logged in to App.net, the person will be brought to a signup or login screen. If the person chooses to signup after clicking on your follow button it is effectively the same as if he/she clicked on your invitation link (i.e. automatic follow of the inviting account). This is an added benefit to using App.net follow buttons, which are available here.

Improved login/signup tools for developers

There are a number of interesting usecases that developers have wanted to build which have been limited by the friction involved in creating an App.net account. For iOS developers we have shipped App.net Passport, which makes it far easier for new users to quickly create an App.net account from a 3rd party iOS application.

For web developers, we have made changes to the way oAuth flow works. To illustrate these changes, let’s talk about a hypothetical application, “Banana Stand”:

Screen Shot 2013-07-11 at 11.12.13 AM

  • A person named Michael goes to the Banana Stand website, and wants to try this amazing new product out. So, Michael clicks the “Authorize with App.net” button.
  • Michael now sees a Signup or Login screen. If Michael already has an App.net account he may click Login, and will see the standard oAuth permissions screen for Banana Stand.
  • If Michael does not already have an App.net account he is able to signup for a free-tier account, right on the initial authorize page. Michael will then complete the process for creating a standard free-tier account. On the last step, Michael is shown the normal oAuth screen for Banana Stand. Once Michael clicks “Accept” he is automatically redirected back into the Banana Stand application. That was easy.

The benefit of this approach is that the developer of Banana Stand does not have to worry about potential users of her application either not knowing how/where to create an App.net account, or getting distracted or confused about what to do after creating a new account.

Interested developers should take a look at our new Web Flow Integration Guide for more information about this new functionality.

Thanks

Dalton & The App.net Team