Subscription-based Twitter alternative App.net has surpassed its funding target by more than $300,000 after the service, founded by Mixed Media Lab CEO Dalton Caldwell, closed its self-imposed funding period having raised $803,000 from 12,315 backers.

The service, which Caldwell and his team are still in the process of building, was conceived in response to growing concerns around Twitter’s stance towards developers. The microblogging giant has been criticised for leaving things unclear regarding the status and future of third-party apps, and that’s something Caldwell is focused on avoiding with the new ad-free and ‘open’ platform.

appnet 800k 520x233 App.net ends crowdfunding campaign with $803,000 from 12,315 backers

Caldwell’s disillusionment also extends to Facebook. Early this month, in an open letter to Mark Zuckerberg, he explained how a business meeting with the social network turned into an aggressive ‘acqui-hire’ offer, as executives threatened to put his then-service out of business if he didn’t accept.

In his post directed at the Facebook founder, Caldwell wrote: “I am resolved to never write another line of code for rotten-to-the-core “platforms” like Facebook or Twitter.”

App.net passed its initial funding goal of $500,000 over the weekend despite a slow start. Funding activity rose steadily, peaking on Sunday when the scale finally tipped the half a million mark, perhaps helped when British actor Stephen Fry signed up and promoted the initiative to his 4.6 million followers on Twitter, of all places.

The despite exceeding its fund raising target significantly, Caldwell told TNW that, with money already in the bank from previous funding, the purpose was to test the level of interest and help build a community of like minded individuals.

Although its future plans are still being defined, App.net is anything but a Twitter-clone. Caldwell is focused on exploring what Twitter could have been like if it was an API, and he’s “under no illusions” that it will become mainstream.

As it looks to its future, Caldwell is soliciting feedback from the 3,400 or so Alpha users that have been brought aboard since last week. Still there remains a significant backlog of backers to process into new members, said the entrepreneur, who founded now defunct services imeem (file sharing) and Instagram-rival picplz.

Backers are given three levels of membership. A $50 pledge buys into the basic ‘member’ level and the ‘developer’ tier (with access to the API and more) costs $100. The top level — ‘pro’ — costs $1,000 and provides full developer access and a personal meeting with Caldwell.

App.net has already gained social sharing support from popular service Buffer, and a number of third-party clients have been in development since last week.

On the back of criticism over the project, Caldwell told TNW that he was focused on proving that the service is more than just “vaporware” and can hold its own with its subscription-based approach. Now that this first hurdle has been successfully negotiated, we’ll be keeping an eye on how the next phase develops.

Writing on his personal blog, Caldwell explained that, in the short term, the team will begin drafting its terms and conditions, while it is seeking third-party validation of its total funding haul to leave no doubt over the figure.

Image via @dalton / App.net