Users Flock to Plunk Down $50 on New Social Network App.net promises to shield you from ads, spam By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Aug 11, 2012 11:29 AM CDT Updated Aug 13, 2012 10:15 AM CDT 7 comments Comments Creator Dalton Caldwell in a frame grab from his explanatory video. (https://join.app.net/) (Newser) – There's a new social network in town, or at least there soon might be. App.net is asking potential users to pay $50 to join, and in return it promises users a "real-time social feed without the ads." That must sound good to quite a few people, because the site has rocketed past its $500,000 crowd-funding goal; with 17 hours to go, it's pulled in almost $700,000, with more than 10,000 total backers. Founder Dalton Caldwell thinks Twitter, Facebook, and the like have been ruined by ads and spam, and his idea is a "noble-sounding effort" that has won praise from other techies, writes Steve Kovach at Business Insider. But at Gawker, Adrien Chen pokes fun at the "geekier-than-thou" premise and its believers' "socially conscious self-satisfaction." Still, Chen isn't betting against it. "I wouldn't underestimate the geek hipster."