I’m sat at home off sick from work with another
case of manflusore throat, so now’s a good as time as any to actually update this thing.
I’ve mentioned previously that Tapbots – creator of popular iOS Twitter client Tweetbot – has been working on a Mac desktop version of their product. Up until today I’ve been using the Alpha and Beta versions, and was excited to hear that the desktop version had been submitted to the Mac App Store.
Sometime overnight Apple approved Tweetbot for Mac and it became available for sale. However, I have to admit I was disappointed to find a $20 (USD) price tag attached.
Tweetbot is a fantastic Twitter client. It’s relatively easy to use, supports multiple accounts, syncs timelines and filters across devices, and allows a good degree of customisation, amongst other things.
But I was left asking if a Twitter client was worth dropping $20 on. Preempting a backlash from customers, Tapbots posted an entry on their blog justifying the price.
Their main argument was limitations imposed by Twitter itself: only a limited number of authorisation tokens have been granted for Tweetbot (around 100,000 I believe), which means there is a hard limit on the number of customers able to purchase the client.
This isn’t exactly the case – Twitter’s Developer Rules Of The Road allows for situations where more tokens are required. Granted it doesn’t go into much detail (and it doesn’t guarantee more tokens), but the provision is there. This limit is imposed by Twitter as part of their new API rules – clearly moving to have more control over the user experience.
One commenter on the Tapbots blog suggested charging a lower price, and use the in-app purchase functionality to charge a small fee to those requiring the ability to add multiple accounts. All in all this isn’t a bad idea: single-account users aren’t stung and it possibly means scarce tokens aren’t wasted.
A secondary argument from the developers is the time invested in development. I’m sorry, but I don’t buy that. Continue making great products, and you’ll continue to have a dedicated customer base and income stream. With current token limitations in place, there’s a maximum potential for $2 million in sales there alone in a best-case scenario. (I said sales, NOT income).
As someone who has already purchased both the iPhone and iPad versions of the iOS client I feel a little cheated having to pay $20 for another version. I appreciate that Tapbots finds itself at the mercy of Twitter here, but this price point seems to be a cash grab to take advantage of what may or may not ultimately be a small market.
Ultimately I did decide to pay the begrudgingly pay the $20. Weighing up the benefits of commonality across devices tipped the scales there. I know $20 isn’t a great deal in the scheme of things, however other clients are available at a much lower price that sport similar features and functionality. I suppose I’m just disappointed Tapbots chose this path.
Tweetbot for Mac can be purchased through the Mac App Store, and is priced at $20.99 for Australian customers.Be the first to leave a comment