App.net, Dalton Caldwell’s proposed ad-free Twitter-alternative, has launched an experimental Developer Incentive Program to financially reward developers that create innovative and popular applications using the App.net API.
Each month, a specified dollar amount will be put into an "Incentive Pool." Developers that have been approved for the Developer Incentive Program will earn a pro-rata share based on a calculated formula. As of September, the size of the monthly Incentive Pool is $20,000.
The calculated formula used to reward developers takes into account application usage statistics and user feedback. Once a month, App.net will request user feedback (via email) about the applications they have used that month. Application ratings are set by members using an interface that uses slider bars:
Image Credit: App.net Company Blog
When the user is finished setting the ratings for the application, the results are submitted which generates a "score" that is added to the Developer Incentive system.
In the announcement, Dalton Caldwell describes the attributes of a great App.net app:
"Rather than having a large number of “one-size-fits all” apps, we want to encourage developers to think about new and customized experiences across a wide variety of categories. A great app will be inventive, simple to use, focused, opinionated, and, above all, built with the needs of users in mind. We’ve already seen a number of apps developed for the Platform that are very impressive, and we look forward to seeing many more."
Developers who would like to participate in the App.net Developer Incentive Program must first apply and be accepted into the program. In addition to earning a portion of the monthly "Incentive Pool," developers are free to monetize their applications as an added "bonus" for building popular App.net applications.
The App.net Developer Incentive Program officially commenced on October 1st, 2012.