App.net, a paid service that launched with the intention of delivering all of the promise that Twitter had before it began to see itself as a website rather than a service, today launched a private messaging API with a mockup open-source app.
Before now, App.net’s paid API only supported public posts in a format similar to Twitter’s.
The API has generated some excitement among developers because it can be used in a number of increasingly high-demand contexts.
In addition to one-on-one chat capabilities, the API could for the basis of “an old-school AOL chat room,” said CEO Dalton Caldwell. It could also fuel a group texting app or collaboration tools like Hipchat or Campfire, Caldwell said.
App.net’s announcement of the new service also highlighted its possible use for the “Internet of things,” or a data-rich infrastructure.
A user could connect the tool to a digital front door lock such as Lockitron, for example, and program the lock to send a message if it is unlocked at a particular time of day.
“So the new private messaging on @appdotnet is wonderful. Very well thought out, not an afterthought like Twitter. Much more like chat,” tweeted the lead platform developer at Pocket.
“‘Internet of things’ notification fabric. CANNOT WAIT FOR THIS,” user Ian Culshaw responded on App.net’s blog post.