App.net's goal of creating an alternative social network took a big step forward with the announcement that it had achieved the goal of raising $500,000 in a crowd-funding campaign.
The project, which seeks to build an open API framework for developers, achieved its pledge goal with almost two days to spare before its deadline, thanks mostly to a last-minute push for new sponsors.
More than 7,800 sponsors have pledged funds for varying membership privileges. A $50 basic membership gives donors an annual membership, while a $1,000 donation gives members access to the developer tools and telephone support.
In his plea for funding, App.net founder Dalton Caldwell said the goal of the project is to "create the service we all wish existed." He noted:
We're building a real-time social service where users and developers come first, not advertisers.
Our team has spent the last 9 years building social services, developer platforms, mobile applications and more.
We believe that advertising-supported social services are so consistently and inextricably at odds with the interests of users and developers that something must be done.
App.net is not the first social-networking project to try to give Facebook and Twitter a run for their money. Diaspora, a social-networking project hatched by four New York University programming students in their early 20s, also tried the micro-funding approach a couple of years ago.
An earlier version of the network is available at App.net.
Updated at 7:05 p.m. PT to correct that the project was not funded on Kickstarter.