Tapbots — makers of our favorite twitter client Tweetbot — have expanded into the fledgling social community of App.net with Netbot. Available in both iPad and iPhone editions, according to reports it’s near identical to Tweetbot, just with features appropriate for the new platform.
Allegedly Netbot will be able to accept more social networks at some point, and so not just be restricted to App.net. The big problem is that App.net is still tiny — doubtless because of its subscription model. For those of you who haven’t been following this stuff, App.net is essentially a Twitter alternative that’ll cost you $36 a year (down from $50 originally), but won’t show you ads.
Getting people to pay for services like this when there are free alternatives is tricky. Some online forums have a small fee as a barrier for entry to dissuade users who don’t want to put effort into the community (see SomethingAwful and Metafilter) — but it remains to be seen if the same holds true in the social media space. As of now App.net is pretty small, and we’ll have to wait and see if it ever hits the critical mass of users it’ll need to be a big success.