Type of site
Micro-blogging and Social network service
Available in English
Owner Megatechtronium, Inc.
Created by Kevin Rose,
Leah Culver,
Daniel Burka[1]
Revenue Paid (pro) option and advertising
Website www.pownce.com
Commercial Yes
Registration Required
Launched June 27, 2007
Current status Closed

Pownce was a free social networking and micro-blogging site started by Internet entrepreneurs Kevin Rose, Leah Culver, and Daniel Burka.[1] Pownce was centered on sharing messages, files, events, and links with friends. The site launched on June 27, 2007, and was opened to the public on January 22, 2008. On December 1, 2008, Pownce announced that it had been acquired by blogging company Six Apart, and that the service would soon shut down.[2][3] It was subsequently shut down on December 15, 2008.[4]


Its launch, on June 27, 2007, was covered by Wired,[5] Business Week,[6] Webware,[7][8] and the San Francisco Chronicle,[9] with most of the coverage focusing on Rose, known for his involvement in Digg, Revision3 and TechTV. Due to this media exposure, invitations for Pownce were in high demand and were being sold on sites such as eBay.[6]

On October 30, 2007, Pownce launched their public API.[10] The developers have also created a Pownce API Google Group.[11] Originally, it was primarily for discussing the release of the API, but it later served to gather feedback and help developers. On November 12, 2007 Pownce launched a custom theme editor for Pro users.[12] They also added eight more preset themes for non pro users to use. On December 20, 2007 Pownce launched a mobile version of their service.[13] This version could be accessed from a variety of mobile devices at m.pownce.com.

On December 1, 2008, Pownce announced that they had been acquired and were shutting down the site,[14] due to a lack of revenue, stagnant growth, and an inability to compete with Twitter.[15] Two weeks later, the site was taken offline.[16]

Comparisons with similar websites

Pownce was compared favorably to other websites with similar functionality like Twitter, and was called a "Twitter on steroids".[7] CNET's Rafe Needleman recommended Pownce over Twitter in a work setting because of its discussion-tracking capabilities.[8] Well known social-media enthusiast and programmer Montana Mendy compared it to Yammer.


Pownce was built on a variation of the LAMP stack: Debian GNU/Linux, Apache, MySQL, and Python. The web application was made with Django, an open source web application framework, written in Python. File storage was supported by Amazon S3. The desktop application was written in Flex for Adobe's AIR platform.


  1. 1 2 "Pownce Company Profile". CrunchBase. Retrieved 2008-07-09.
  2. Ha, Anthony (2008-12-01). "Six Apart acquires and shuts down Pownce". VentureBeat.
  3. Six Apart. "Pownce Acquired by Six Apart". sixapart.com. Archived from the original on 2009-03-05.
  4. http://www.pownce.com/. "Pownce". Pownce official website. Retrieved February 15, 2013.
  5. Strangle, Adario (2007-06-28). "Pseudo Launches: Kevin Rose Announces Pownce Private Beta". Wired. CondéNet, Inc. Retrieved 2007-07-15.
  6. 1 2 Ricadela, Aaron (2007-07-10). "Investors Digg Kevin Rose". BusinessWeek online. The McGraw-Hill Companies. Retrieved 2007-07-15.
  7. 1 2 Butler, Peter (July 13, 2007). "Pownce invites and the rise of Adobe AIR". Webware. Retrieved 2007-07-15. Pownce--cofounded by Digg frontman Kevin Rose--is essentially a "microblogging" tool, or Twitter on steroids.
  8. 1 2 Rafe Needleman (July 5, 2007). "How to choose between Twitter and Pownce". Webware. Retrieved 2007-07-15. if you're starting from zero, give Pownce a serious look, especially if you're thinking of using it in a work setting
  9. West, Jackson (2007-06-28). "Future Fresser: Social Network Fatigue". SFGate. Hearst Communications. Retrieved 2007-07-15.
  10. "Pownce Public API". Pownce Blog. Retrieved 2007-10-30.
  11. Google Discussiegroepen. Groups.google.com. Retrieved on 2013-11-24.
  12. "New Themes and Custom Themes!". Pownce Blog. Retrieved 2007-11-12.
  13. "Pownce Mobile! (beta)". Pownce Blog. Retrieved 2007-12-20.
  14. http://www.sixapart.com/pownce/
  15. Izenwasser, Murray (December 10, 2008). "Pownce Closing Down".
  16. Pownce Bounced: Twitter Competitor To Shut Doors. Crn.com. Retrieved on 2013-11-24.
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