The promise of ADN was a "social backbone". You build the social network once, and add it to your app. They had a Twitter clone as a demonstration product (called Alpha). But the idea was, you didn't need to reinvent the wheel every time you created an app. So you sign up for ADN once. Someone invents Vine? Well, they integrate with ADN, and voila! Once you download Vine you have all your friends already there. You don't have to reinvite them and re-friend them on the latest app of the month. When you discover Instagram, well they are plugged into ADN so again your friends are already present and you don't have to find them again under a different username or whatever. That was the idea. The problem was1) They decided to go ad-free, so both developer and user accounts cost money initially. There was eventually a free tier of user accounts. 2) Outside of developers reading the spec, follow-on apps were slow in coming so for a long time, it was just a paid and ad-free alternative to Twitter. Eventually there were apps like Whisper, and Climber for example that duplicated Instagram and Vine and created private chat rooms and instant messaging like Whatsapp. The thing was, really they wanted to be an API, and no one was interested. Why share your most valuable thing, users and their data, with someone else? How do you monetize that if it's given away to everyone else on the network and to all apps? Better to build walls around the garden and sell ads. It's too bad. It had promise.