By February 2013, App.net had become a freemium service, with a free tier being offered to people invited to join by a paying subscriber. As a result of this switch, by May 2013, App.net had grown to have 100,000 subscribers. App.net, the social network that promised to beat Twitter at its own game, is shutting down. App.net will cease to exist on March 15th, 2017. However, the code at the heart of the site will be open-sourced, enabling someone else to take on the challenge of battling Twitter. Maybe.
Caldwell and Berg crowdfunded the creation of App.net, with 11,000 backers raising $750,000 for the fledgling company. Most of these backers paid $50 for a one-year subscription to App.net, which would, as a result, be completely free of ads.
Despite the early enthusiasm, users stopped renewing their subscriptions. So much so that in May 2014, its founders voluntarily put App.net into maintenance mode. All paid employees were fired, with contractors essentially just keeping the lights on until the money ran out.
That has now happened, and so App.net will switch the lights off for good on March 15th, 2017. No new signups will be accepted, and any pending subscription renewals will be cancelled. All user data will be deleted, so you have until March 15th to export your data or lose it forever.