Good news: Tweetbot for Mac is out. Bad news: it costs $20

By , Oct 18, 2012

TapBots’ beloved Twitter client Tweetbot has finally arrived for the Mac, following an extensive period of beta testing since July. The bad news is, it will run you a whopping twenty bucks a pop! It’s not that developers have become greedy overnight, mind you. As you know, Twitter has capped their user base in a quest to exercise total control of third-party programs.

Twitter is doing so by enforcing token limits upon third-party developers. Tokens determine how many users an app like Tweetbot for Mac can have. As a result, developers get to only sell the app until they use up all the tokens Twitter allocated.

That’s the official line. Some people think it’s crap, others point the finger of blame at Twitter. You could call it economics, I guess. No matter how you look at it, Tweetbot for Mac – at least to my knowledge – has officially become the priciest Twitter client on the Mac App Store…

TapBots explain the commotion in a blog post announcing the official release of Tweetbot for Twitter (that’s the official name):

Because of Twitter’s recent enforcement of token limits, we only have a limited number of tokens available for Tweetbot for Mac. These tokens dictate how many users Tweetbot for Mac can have.

The app’s limit is separate from, but much smaller than, the limit for Tweetbot for iOS. Once we use up the tokens granted to us by Twitter, we will no longer be able to sell the app to new users. Tapbots will continue to support Tweetbot for Mac for existing customers at that time.

So pricing the app at twenty bucks was the way to go, eh?

This limit and our desire to continue to support the app once we sell out is why we’ve priced Tweetbot for Mac a little higher than we’d like. It’s the best thing we can do for the long term viability of the product.

We know some will not be happy about Tweetbot for Mac’s pricing, but the bottom line is Twitter needs to provide us with more tokens for us to be able to sell at a lower the price.

Is there anything you can do about it?

Sure, call your senator or “feel free to let Twitter know how you feel about it”.

A few screenies follow.

And if you think $20 for a desktop Twitter client is too much, it really isn’t.

Per developers:

If you think about it, it’s not that expensive. Twenty dollars for a quality piece of software that you use every day? That has been the price point for quality utility apps on the Mac for years. However, it’s not just the development time and attention we put into the app that commands the higher price.

The final version enables brilliant iCloud sync of your timeline position across iOS and Mac versions and integrates with Mountain Lion’s Notification Center.

Yes, it supports Retina graphics as well.

Brief highlights, via iTunes:

◆ Multiple Timelines. Quickly switch between your lists as your main timeline.
◆ Multiple Windows and Columns. Display timelines from different accounts side by side.
◆ Notification Center Support.
◆ Beautiful Retina graphics.
◆ Mute filters lets you block messages from users without unfollowing them. You can also mute hashtags and specific keywords.
◆ Sync timeline position, direct message read statuses and mute filters between your Mac, iPhone and iPad via iCloud.
◆ Support for multiple services like Pocket, Instapaper, Readability, CloudApp and Droplr.
◆ Save drafts, add locations and POI’s, attach photos/videos, manage your lists, and much more.

So, will you be taking the plunge?

I’m not so sure.

Not at this price, not in this economy.

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  • http://twitter.com/alexx1291 Cazz

    cough,TPB

    • Greg Hao

      One would assume that there must be a way for TapBots to link each copy sold to a token. Obviously there would be plenty of ways to obtain the software but the real question comes, how does one with the pirated copy obtain a token to authenticate with twitter?

      • http://twitter.com/alexx1291 Cazz

        great question! people used to say that bout CD’s and serials but yea.

        there’s always a way, Im just waiting to see how they do it!

      • Trino Alvarez

        I believe that, if you downloaded the alpha and the beta, your token is already registered with Twitter to use with Tweetbot for Mac, so I guess is not much of a pirating control measure.

  • http://twitter.com/Tjibba  Tjibbe de Haan

    Bought it. Loved the alpha version, hope they won’t let me down.

    • http://twitter.com/Tjibba  Tjibbe de Haan

      Arrghh, 2 crashes allready..

  • Metroview

    Twitter pulling this shit with limiting and restricting the service will be the death of it.

    It’s only going to be a matter of time before none of the 3rd party clients will continue to work and we’re forced to use the crap web version.

    App.net is certainly looking better at this point.

    • http://twitter.com/theuniverse934 THE UNIVERSE

      except for the fact that it costs money…

  • ChiefSpecialK

    Wonder when the beta will stop working?

  • Greg Hao

    Finally, a post from iDB which doesn’t reflexively love everything AAPL related and exhorts some economic restraint. Bravo.

    • notewar

      Ur a cunt… please neg me for swearing but I hate these type of smart ass comment. These guys are working 24hr around the clock to bring us fresh news about iOS and I think they deserved some respect.

      • http://www.youtube.com/Tr1pTr0p Tr1pTr0p

        They work 24 hours around the clock to bring me three half assed two-paragraph articles a day? What an amazing job it must be, then. (There are some really good articles here, but once in a full moon. Without all the copy-paste quotes, this article wouldn’t be more than a few sentences long.) Bitch please. I find myself coming here and laughing at retarded fanboys, more than to read the actual article.
        If you want real news, go to real news sites.

      • http://twitter.com/adhithyagokul Adhithya Gokul

        Get a life man. Visiting sites to read comments alone ?? This shows how pathetic you are . By the way even if you want laugh at there are more comments by pathetic fandroids in most articles

      • http://www.youtube.com/Tr1pTr0p Tr1pTr0p

        Funny how sheep always come to the conclusion I’m a fandroid simply because of my avatar. And no, you intelligent person, I couldn’t comment on this article without reading it. I’ve read too many shitty articles, hence my rant up there.
        Both fanboy sides are retarded as fuck, and I’m glad I’m not on either one. Unlike brainless fucks who come to sites like these, I understand how both major competing platforms have their flaws.

  • http://twitter.com/Zach_Krase Zach Krase 

    twitter is not worth 20 bucks to me ill pass on this.

  • http://twitter.com/Rich_Inniss  Rich 

    Yeah, $20 bucks, not worth it. I’ll just use it on my phone, or use the regular twitter website on my computer. Either they’ll change the price when people don’t buy it, or it’s going to be wasted time and work.

  • http://www.facebook.com/masonicninja Michael Scott Allen

    When the website is still free as is the iOS app, not a chance. Tweetbot just lost a customer for now. It’s not that I disagree with their reasons for the price, I just can’t justify it.

  • http://twitter.com/wmyolo William Melendez

    Definitely not spending 20 bucks for this . That’s how much I paid for mountain lion for crying out loud … Smh

    • http://twitter.com/JesseVirgil Jesse Virgil

      Right, but that’s a really great deal provided by Apple. Not that long ago, OS X releases costs $100+ (Tiger and Leopard were around the $129 mark). It was only until Apple released Snow Leopard did they start offering a drastically reduced price ($29, in this case). Apple can offer this great of a discount because they manufacture the computers that their OS uses (so, they make their money on the hardware and apps you purchase through the Mac App Store).

      Comparing a really great deal offered by a one of the most profitable companies ever, versus the cost of an app created by a very small development team that will only be allowed to sell a very limited number of supplies, isn’t a very fair comparison.

  • http://twitter.com/doorsunopened Jason J.

    Yeah. That’s a lot of money for an app. But the alpha/beta was pretty great and it is, by far, the best twitter app out there. ARGH. what to do….

  • f1ght3r

    Twitter is lame anyways

  • http://twitter.com/oo7plasma Brandon Weidema

    if you use any Tapbots app on your iPhone, you know how much quality they pour into their apps and it’s definitely worth it.

  • http://twitter.com/adhithyagokul Adhithya Gokul

    I use twitterific which is 4.99 and I have no problems with it. Was eagerly waiting for tweetbot to try it as i use it both on iphonr and ipad out but not gonna waste 20$ for a twitter client. For godsake the OS itself cost me lesser than this

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

    lololoololololololl

  • http://twitter.com/Alekseriator Alex Golubev

    Bought it, and Love it.

  • http://twitter.com/HiTekkSteff Stephaughn Alston

    Seems like their saying “We’re trying to hurry up & get all the money we can before our tokens run out”. I’m disappointed in TapBots!

    • http://twitter.com/JesseVirgil Jesse Virgil

      What they’re saying is, once they run out of tokens they won’t be able to sell the app anymore, which means they already know how much money they’re going to make once that token number is reached.

      I believe the original token number provided by Twitter is 100,000, so let’s use this in an example. Say they reach the limit of tokens, with 95% of tokens being used by people that actually bought the app at full price (leave 5% for in-house employees and giveaways). In this scenario, they would make (not profit) roughly $1,330,000 (after Apple gets their 30% cut).

      Now factor out the number of man hours and equipment cost for the development the app (I can’t give you a number because I’m not a developer, but it’s probably a pretty good chunk of change). Now, they’re left with a total amount. As they continue to support and develop for the app for the foreseeable future, they’re going to slowly chip away at that remaining number until they reach a day when it’s all gone.

      Essentially, they want to make sure they can always afford to support the app, which costs a lot of money. Since they won’t be able to have an endless amount of users buying their app, they need to charge a higher amount to cover their costs. So, if you don’t want to buy into the system, that’s fine, but I assure this isn’t a money grab on the developers part.

      • http://twitter.com/HiTekkSteff Stephaughn Alston

        I definitely understand what your saying but when the Alpha version came out they said & I quote “We’re nowhere near using all of our tokens so you don’t have to worry”. And even if they did use all of the tokens from what I’m hearing you can talk to Twitter to receive more. Especially how popular Tweetbot is, they should have NO problem getting more tokens!

      • http://twitter.com/JesseVirgil Jesse Virgil

        Do you have a date for that quote, because on August 27th, the alpha version got pulled from public download because “We’ve [Tapbot] been working with Twitter over the last few days to try to work around [the token] limit for the duration of the beta but have been unable to come up with a solution that was acceptable to them.” (quote is from Tapbot’s blog)
        I think it’s fair to say from that quote that Twitter hasn’t exactly been tripping over themselves to give Tapbot more tokens, which I think has everything to do with Tapbot’s popularity. Twitter basically wants all third-party clients that mimic their own experience to not exist anymore; so, they really don’t have any incentive to help a client that offers a much better experience than their own.

      • http://twitter.com/HiTekkSteff Stephaughn Alston

        Don’t have a specific date but I follow one of the developers on Twitter & he wrote the blog when the new API came out. And listen to what you just said “Work around the limit for the duration of the beta BETA”, this wasn’t for the public release. It would make sense for Twitter not to give them tokens for a alpha/beta release because than their losing valuable tokens which are really not needed. Tapbots didn’t really need to release a alpha/beta!

      • http://www.facebook.com/lucas.campelo Lucas Campelo

        It’s not the whole story. They did say they aren’t close to use all of their tokens, but these are for the iOS version (because they have 2x more tokens as the number of users they had when the policy changed, which is more than 100k). But the mac version has 100k, and that is all they have. Twitter is on a non-negociable relation with developers that make twitter clients, nobody is getting more tokens, in any platform.

  • http://www.destroypixels.com/ Nicolas Arteaga

    I love Tweetbot on iOS, but on OS X I’ll continue with Yorufukurou.

  • http://twitter.com/redevil1987 Damian W

    hmm why would anyone pay for something that is widely available for free. On top of this, twitter is not even a necessity to have. I would understand better if big clients like skype start to price themselves high…but not twitter, which was supposed to be just a fun addition to interact with other people.

  • http://twitter.com/klouud Timothy Polumbo

    we should get a discount if we have the universal version for iOS. $20 is asking way too much. I’d rather get a console game on sale, 3-4 triple A iOS games, or an 8GB memory stick. $20 for a twitter client? no way.

  • http://twitter.com/myorangeisstuck wahaha

    I’ll just use the alpha version until they stop the alpha version

  • http://www.facebook.com/chris.cook.5895 Chris Cook

    If you all don’t want to see Twitter fail, we need to make our opinions known. Killing 3rd party developers will be the demise of this social network. Complain to Twitter. Make them know that they are killing themselves while we are forced to watch. Let us change this. #SaveTwitter

  • http://twitter.com/leothelion96 Leonard Wong

    It is slightly expensive compare to other twitter clients but tweetbot is still the best twitter client to use on mac.
    I think I will start saving and hopefully when I could buy, the tokens still available

  • Nicolas Loots

    Meh. I’ll stick with Twitterrific.