A couple of months ago, I got excited about App.net, Dalton Caldwell's social network which was both a Twitter clone and an anti-Twitter. (It looks and works much like Twitter once did, but charges for service and aims to welcome developers of third-party clients rather than brush them off.)
I paid $50 to get in — the price was recently lowered to $36 — and had fun chatting with the smart early adopters who were using the service. But I found myself using it less and less. Not because there was anything wrong with it. It's just that I have a larger group of friends and acquaintances on Twitter, discussing a broader range of topics. And I didn't have enough time to hang out in Twitter and App.net.
But now I'm interested in App.net all over again. Tapbots, the creators of Tweetbot — my favorite Twitter client — have released Netbot, an App.net client for iPhone and iPad. It's as similar to Tweetbot as an App.net client can be, and so much fun that I'm reacclimating myself to App.net.
And it has a feature designed for folks who like App.net but haven't abandoned Twitter: crossposting. Each time you post an update on App.net, you can push it out to Twitter, too.
That's the only Twitter-related feature in Netbot. If you want to read tweets from other people — including anything that Twitter users say in response to your post — you'll need to use a full-blown Twitter client. Still, when you have something to say, it lets you easily say it on both App.net and Twitter, from a top-notch app. That's a big deal.
Netbot is $4.99 for iPhone, and $4.99 for iPad. That's a large investment by App Store standards, and it's more than Tweetbot, which is $2.99 in both of its variants. I'm not complaining though. It's worth the dough, and the apps are so good that I'm going to get more out of the $50 I've already invested in App.net.