Tweetbot 2.7.3 for iOS (iPad screenshot 003)

Just to make it clear: iDB does not condone piracy. Quite the opposite, we strongly condemn it. While no accurate data exist on how widespread the App Store piracy issue is, by all accounts it’s anything but neglectable, especially when certain dudes jailbreak their devices with the sole purpose of using pirated apps. Tapbots, the people behind the popular Twitter client called Tweetbot, has found a novel way to identify users who are pirating the app.

It gets even better: these folks actually have been exposing themselves on – oh the irony – Twitter. Regardless, I doubt public exposure is going to shame them, let alone persuade them to pay for Tweetbot…

So how did Tapbots do this?

Easy, each pirated copy of Tweetbot automatically inserts this into the compose field:

I’ve been demoing a pirated copy of @tweetbot and really like it so I’m going to buy a copy.

But why would anyone hit the Tweet button to name and shame themselves on Twitter? According to Gizmodo UK which reached out to Tapbots’ Paul Haddad, it’s just good ol’ human stupidity.

“We don’t force them to post it,” Tweetbot’s Paul Haddad wrote on Twitter. “We fill the Tweet sheet, its up to the user to post or cancel.”

Scpirated tweetbot tweet

Now, how bizarre is that?

A simple Twitter search reveals this has been going on for at least a few days.

Tweetbot received a minor update today, adding “Your Tweets, Retweeted” back to the Retweets tab and fixing display of URLs instead of the real URL in some profile views.

Tweetbot for the iPhone and iPod touch is a $3 value. The iPad build is provided separately and will run you an additional three bucks. The Mac version is a $20 download so you’re looking at a cool $26 to have Tweetbot installed on all your devices.

Now, I keep hearing certain people whining about the price. Their arguments always boil down to this: a few bucks is too high a price to pay for a Twitter client.

I couldn’t disagree more.

You should really put the blame on Twitter and its stupid cap on the number of users a third-party Twitter client can have. It’s got nothing to do with developers whatsoever. Moreover, all Twitter clients are also bound by the same rules.

Tapbots acknowledged as much in an October 2012 blog post accompanying the Twitter for Mac launch:

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.

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.

Is there a way out of this mess?

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.

Since these tokens are provided at the sole discretion of Twitter, there’s nothing Tapbots can do about it. No matter how you look at it, Twitter is intentionally clamping down on third-party clients in the hope that people will switch to its official software.

The problem is, folks who pirate Tweetbot are also using up tokens Twitter allocated to Tapbots, thereby bringing the app closer to the cut-off threshold.

My message to those shameless pirates: unless you can afford Tweetbot, use Twitter’s free client instead.

Best thing not to mess with karma.

What’s your position on app piracy and do you applaud Tapbots’ move?

  • John714

    cry good

  • Mohammed Sahib


  • pegger1

    Maybe they were just using the pirated app to demo it.

    • Yeah sure, I just downloaded the entire collection of Breaking Bad, but I’ll only demo it, promise.

    • JohnDoey

      You don’t need to demo it. You can buy it and if you don’t like it, you can refund it.

      • Through the App Store? Yeah right. You might want to double check the terms of sale again. It doesn’t happen unless the app doesn’t live up to what it claims to do in the description.

  • Bobby

    i think piracy on app store would be much lower if there was at least a 3 day trial on the paid apps. or at least an easy way to refund if you don’t like an app.

    • Sadly that’s not a developer problem. Apple needs to implement that.

    • I think it would be more rampant. Right now, someone has to buy the app to crack it. With trial periods, they don’t even have to buy a single copy to crack it.

      • You actually think someone buys the app first? God you’re cute..

      • You must be the type of person that bites into the produce at the grocery store before buying.

    • bloodshed

      exactly..any of these two options would be great..i guess android users can get a refund within 15 mins after a purchase, how cool is that!..
      Apple, 15 mins are not enough..we need “better” not “different”!

      • JohnDoey

        Apple users can get a refund anytime. You just complain about the app and Apple refunds your money.

      • I make up some random yet plausible excuse to get my money back if I don’t like an app i bought.

      • This also works for apps that have been removed by apple. I had a game that has since been removed from the store, I went looking for it after an iPhone restore, and obviously couldn’t find it so apple refunded the money.

      • I wonder how Apple is punishing the devs. As someone who sold on Amazon they are really sucky when it comes to forcing refunds.

    • Damian W

      true, but it would mean less profit too for Apple and devs. Once people could check the game out they would realize they dont like it or need it.

      Cydia devs just like AppStore chose to avoid trials in most cases with some exceptions.

    • Exactly right. I have known people who used Installous JUST to demo an app. If they liked it, it was purchased. If not, deleted. Apple won’t refund purchases if you happen to not like the app either. They just recently refused a refund for an app that definitely wasn’t what it said it was. Full app functionality should be available for a day or two, just to see if it’s actually something the user needs.

      • It’s not an official thing, but Apple is pretty good with refunding apps. I’ve never had any trouble with getting refunds from the app store.

    • really. all these people who posted the “demo” tweet are only using a pirated version because there’s no 3 Days trial… lol don’t kid yourself. There are people who simply don’t want to pay for anything if they don’t have to.

      Also it’s not that difficult to create a demo mode for apps. And use in app purchase to unlock the full app.

  • regkilla

    The Wall of Shame

  • Latrese

    The thing is most pirates don’t care if they’re pirating. They’ll tell you to your face,& you probably won’t b able to change their mind. So adding this ..whatever they wanna call it isn’t gonna stop pirates. Can someone explain to me point?

    • As a developer I would totally do that (if I could get more information about how he’s detecting it) for fun.

      We love to do things just for fun.

      • Xavier Serrano

        as a developer dont waste your time on twitter or apps that might constrain you to have a very productive(monetary) app. You see there are soooo many twitter clients and twitter being something so simple most people in reallity can get away with the free client given by the company. as soon as twitter lunched their own client i started using it. i ussually prefer to use the services official apps they update along with the actual services. Pirating in this situation completely sucks cuz the developer and paying users are being affected in everyway. When it comes to pirating you are going to run into a somewhat culture issue. Specially if your app is release all over the world and downloaded all over the world. In a lot of latin american countries and other second to third world countries pirating isn’t even frowned upon or condemned by the public. Its normal its technically illegal but hardly ever enforced. You hear about it when they shut down pirates shops like places where they pirate the dvds to sell them but never to the general public. Ive seen so many internet cafe’s in my country that run on pirated pcs with every single software in them down to the operating system being pirated. ME as a developer can definitely feel that pain. We live in a big world if you want to have a clear picture of the problem you need to look at it with birds eyes views so you can see all of the big picture.

    • Mathew Rice


      The point is, when the user wants to tweet anything, that message is automatically inserted into the compose view every time, forcing the user to remove it, every time.

      It’s rather annoying to those who must deal with it and definitely impedes the usability of the app.

      A nice strategic tactic in retrospect. Hopefully it will annoy the user enough so that they either buy the app, or use a different one…

      • Latrese

        Thank your for explaining:)

        But can’t they choose not to use it? If you pirated something in the first place I doubt they care about this …

      • Mathew Rice

        Huh…, I think thats the point of the annoyance created from this anti-piracy function.

        It’s persistance will hopefully persuade pirates to either buy the app or switch to something else.

      • Hyr3m

        I would just try to find a “hacked” version of the “stolen” app that doesn’t have this “feature”… (either get the previous version or find the current one having been messed around with to either remove the verification or empty out the default text string). I might have tried to modify that myself if I had any shits left to give.

      • Its a great way to annoy pirates, reminds me of a similar thing in the game Arma or Arma 2 where the game becomes incredibly laggy, aiming becomes very inaccurate, and glitches open up to the game once it detects its pirated. Its hilarious to see videos of people trying to play it this way.

  • for me i use pirated apps because i cant paye for apps it to expensive to paye 3 euros for an application in morocco

    • notewar

      Wonder how u could afford an iphone in the first place

      • Damian W

        i guess after buying iphone he went broke. 😛 Poor budget planning.

    • But you can afford an iPhone. Get out.

      • That’s a fallacy.

      • No it isn’t.

      • Yes it is.

      • Damian W

        who is right?

      • Kurt


      • Siv

        Might be stolen?

      • yeah i stol it from u

      • Siv

        If I had an iPhone 5, I would give it to you for free.

      • Kurt

        You can have my iphone 4S for free too. I’ll just smash it to bits otherwise when I get a note 3 in the summer. Unless, @twitter-404062756:disqus wants to burn/blow it up

      • really @kurt178:disqus that so nice from u so you can send it to me and i will smash my i4

      • u dont understand in my countrie there is only one operator who have the iphone and it coast 8000 dh (like 800$) and if i want to have an itunes card i have to buy it form this operator but i can have it free with only 2500 dh (250$) so if u want that i dont get pirated apps send me an itunes card or just shut up

    • Well then use that money for school and learn how to spell 🙂

    • Then don’t buy it. You don’t go around stealing $3 from people on the street, just cause you want it do you? It’s the same thing.

      • Kurt

        It’s different no? He isn’t taking anything from the devs. He’s just not giving to them. In some cases he is adding to the users on the servers if they use servers for their apps. (still not adding any costs though) but with enough pirates the dev may need to buy more servers so adding some costs. This is the reality of pirating ‘digital’ applications. That’s why so many people don’t care. If it’s an app that you would have paid for but you didn’t because there was a way to get the app, then thats unfortunate.

    • JohnDoey

      If you don’t have 3 euros for Tweetbot, then send your Tweets from the Twitter iOS app or the Twitter Web app.

      What you’re saying is like going out to dinner and not leaving a tip because you can’t afford it. If you can’t afford the tip, go to the grocery store and make your own food and serve yourself. Don’t force someone else to work for you for free.

      • jw

        Assuming he lives in a country where people actually expect tips?

      • Damian W

        the only country that would be USA.

      • Damian W

        actually tips are ridiculous. Bad example, I personally believe you work for what you get. If you work in some food service where they pay you around 11 buck/hour then you should not really expect customers to leave a tip. It is up to the customer and his generosity. Waiters etc dont work for free they get the same wage as everyone else does. No body tips in the world except USA and sometimes Canada.

        The only situation where people could leave a tip is in case where there is a donation or someone actually works for free.

        I used to work in the warehouse where they paid me 11 bucks and i was not begging the clients to pay me tips. How is that fair for workers who dont work in food business. They get same wages as waiters yet dont expect any tips. So yeah, get over the tips and start looking at the bigger picture. You work for what you get and if you dont like it go look for a better job.

      • We tip here in the UK. It’s supposed to be around 10% of the bill.

      • Kurt

        I’m against tipping too. I lived in 4 countries besides my own, USA. and None of them force tipping. In USA people are prideful “im a good tipper” I didn’t realize it but thats how I felt since I had family members earning from ‘uneducated jobs’ like serving/bartending.

  • seyss

    I live in a poor country (however I’m far from being poor).. only in situations like this you’ll understand why someone needs to pirate a $3 bucks app.

    you won’t understand that living in US so stop complaining and crying that copying is “steal”

    • If you’re that poor then why would you pay for phone that cost $200-$500?

      • Damian W

        The phone for $500 costs in poor countries $1000. True, check it out. The guy who can afford has to almost shit money or save forever.

      • JohnDoey

        If it doesn’t pay for itself, you shouldn’t buy it.

        When I got my first iPhone, I started scanning job ads on the way to work on the train, answering them from the iPhone itself, and then receiving phone calls and emails throughout the day on the device itself, which I answered immediately and so pretty soon I was navigating to job interviews with the Maps app, and pretty soon after that I got a new job with a salary that was thousands of dollars more than my current job, which not only paid for the iPhone outright, but also for the 2 years of service. All within about the first month. I hadn’t even really been thinking of finding a new job, I was pretty happy with my job. But I had time to kill on the way to work on the train and some career management seemed like a good use of that time.

        If your iPhone is just a $600 toy, then yes, you have to be made of money. But for most people, an iPhone is an investment in themselves that they can make pay for itself over 2 years. That is why big companies buy iPhones for their workers. Not out of charity or to make their workday fun, but because iPhones pay for themselves.

      • Damian W

        great to hear that. However, I think it does not work the same way for most people in poor countries. Most jobs in poor countries pay barely for living expenses and rent.

      • jw

        What kind of analysis did you perform, before purchase, to determine that an iPhone would “pay for itself”?

      • Hyr3m

        So you’re saying you would never have gotten that new job if it weren’t for your iPhone? Or are you saying you could never have gotten that new job if it weren’t for your iPhone?

        Maybe not being lazy when you get home in the evening, using any random dumbphone and a paper map of your area could have gotten you to the same result… Don’t you think so?

        Unless your new boss hired you based on the fact that you own an iPhone?

        Also, when you spend 8 hours in an office, are you the one earning money or is your iPhone earning that cash for you to pay the subscription and reimburse the cost of the phone?

        You got that job because you pulled your thumbs out of your ass and actually started looking; unless you can prove otherwise that iPhone is not the only way you could have gotten that job. Also, you probably landed that job thanks to your own merit, not because of an inanimate object sitting in your pocket. And finally, the time YOU spend doing anything that earns you money belongs to you so that money was earned by you yourself and not that glass brick sitting in your pocket.

        iPhones don’t pay for themselves.

        People buy iPhones because they want to.

        The person making the decision to get company iPhones for everyone probably also gets one so he most likely decided to have his company pay for iPhones specifically so he can have one “for free”.

        I earn a lot of money thanks to my computer… the computer doesn’t earn the money on its own… I have to spend time programming bots and whatnots that then run on their own but I’m the one generating the money. You may thank your iPhone for helping you finding that new job of yours but please don’t pretend an iPhone can generate money (except for Apple :P).

      • Kurt

        That guy is an idiot. He could have done that at home. but no, the drama of doing it on the subway was so important to his retarded story.

      • Why not import it then?

      • Damian W

        you could I guess. However,it might be difficult to buy the phone abroad. Ebay sellers sometimes do not send expensive packages to certain countries, Well, I dont know how it works for these people, I dont live currently in a poor country, but I keep in touch with my friends from various places in the world.

      • Kurt

        or sells his kidney like the chinese teen who used the money to get an iphone 4 and ipad 1.

      • Damian W

        lol, smart people

    • Yet you bought an iPhone, you can afford it.

    • JohnDoey

      Tweetbot is not the only way to send Tweets. Users who do not have $3 to spend can still send Tweets through the actual Twitter app and Twitter Web app for free.

      What you said makes no sense.

    • Kurt

      What country do you live in?

  • ah tweetbot one of the apps i actually use everyday and that i paid for…love it that i can make it purple with winterboard..

  • JerseyD

    I heard a story that the guys who run iDB also host a pirating site, even though they always say they oppose it. True?

    • Siv

      A rumour falsely spread by the Stefan Esser (a.k.a ion1c). He’s a public troll, ignore him.

      • Yup, this is how this silly rumor started. Of course I don’t run a pirate site.

      • RarestName

        iPirateBlog 😀

    • smtp25

      Sounds retartedly untrue OR its movies and music which everyone knows is okay as long as its not iOS apps/games

      • Siv

        Haha are you for real?! So pirating apps/games is bad but pirating movies/music is magically OK? LOL!

        But no, I don’t believe iDB endorses either form of piracy.

      • smtp25

        heh I left the sarcasm tag off .. but on here people do talk like that “i never pirate an app just buy it” but I’m betting they’ve copied music or movies

      • Kurt

        haha good point 🙂

  • EvasionJB75

    Why do people even care its what people do and people should just deal with it piracy will never stop so they need to deal with it

    • They are dealing with it, by giving he pirates some richly deserved humiliation.

      Frankly, I respect customers privacy, but pirates are not customers, so there’s code in my app that sends me all kinds of info about the pirates. I figure if they’re going to violate my rights, I have the right to violate theirs.

      • JohnDoey

        If they did not accept the terms of the license agreement, you are not bound by the license agreement.

  • Hahahahaha thank you for that!

  • I used to be one of those people who pirated apps and tweaks and jailbreak mainly for that.. But somehow I don’t do that anymore. I don’t know what convinced me to stop doing that though.

    • I did the same thing with pc stuff back in the day. One day I just started buying software. Like you not sure what made me stop. Anyway for the pirates please download something like app shopper that tells you software that’s on sale or even free. I use it all the time and now have about 4000 apps accumulated.

      • Kurt

        AppShopper is awesome!

    • JohnDoey

      Maybe the $50 per year that you were saving was not worth the effort.

      What apps cost in App Store is like a tip. You don’t save enough money by not tipping for it to be worth it, either.

      • Kurt

        Other countries you get great service without tipping. Tipping in the US has brainwashed people into being prideful. “I’m a good tipper” Pay these people what they deserve, not through tips. I get better service in Korea, with no tips then I do in USA. In the states I feel they are so phoney[sp?] and obnoxious.

  • Before I got my iPhone 4S in November 2011, I was using a pirated copy of Tweetbot. When I got my 4S, there was no jailbreak available. I bought Tweetbot (and a few other “key” apps), because I couldn’t live without it!

    • So you only bought it because you didn’t have a jailbreak. Man, you’re a nice guy.

    • You shouldn’t be allowed to jailbreak.

      • Kurt

        I bet you voted for Obama.

  • bloodshed

    about myself, i used to be a humble pirate 🙂
    i mean, i didn’t pay a penny for the dozens of paid apps were once on my iPhone .too much for humble, huh?..but not anymore, actually i’m totally against all that now!..why wouldn’t i pay a few bucks for some great apps that i’ll be using for life!’s like buying some cake or a chocolate bar, what’s the big deal about it for some ppl? don’t tell me you can’t, definitely you can..if you juz start to stop being greedy!
    and as an IT student, i understand the great deal of time and effort developers spend to make such innovative and robust apps.
    They need support to move on, so if you like what they offer, it’s free, then thank the lord..if not, then bloody pay for it.

    • Siv

      I really wish I could believe you but once a pirate, always a pirate.

      • bloodshed

        Oh god why!..he’s not believing me, what should i do?..
        juz juz..juz stop being an asshole..i didn’t type all that to lie to your respectful my boss or something..a hell of a pirate i am, happy now brick!..go finger urself now, you caused me stomach..

      • Siv

        Didn’t understand a word you said.

      • bloodshed

        ask your mama for help

      • Kurt

        Me either

      • I do the same with him. I used to pirate App store apps and Jailbreak tweaks. Now I pay for EVERY THING I install on my phone. Don’t care if you don’t believe me. It’s the truth.

    • JohnDoey

      I like to pay for apps because it’s the right thing to do — entering a mutually-beneficial voluntary agreement with the publisher. But a great advantage of paying for your apps is when you are shopping for apps, you ask yourself, “do I really need this? is it worth $5 or $10 to me?” and sometimes the answer is no, and that prevents me from filling up my phone with apps I don’t really need and won’t regularly use and which will just make it harder to find the apps I do really need and use all the time.

    • i spend 50 indian rupees on a 1 litre worthless coke or pepsi which is screwing my system up , i rather spend the same 50 rupees or 1 dollar on an app

      • Siv

        Why don’t you spend the 50 rupees on going to the gym. Maybe you can lose all that weight you put on from drinking Coke.

    • trumpet444

      I used to pirate years ago too. The day after I sat down and “coded” my first ‘hello world’ app I gained new respect for devs. I’ve been clean and honest for 3 years now

    • gobbl3gobbo

      cool story, bro.

  • i can see piracy being an issue on iOS but not as big as on android which to some people is their platform of choice since pirating is much easier. As far as jailbreaking with the intention of pirating apps…trial comes to mind..there are just so many apps that look good and sound good by reviews (yeah, you can always trust those) but the apps are trash. if apple were to implement a trial system that will help more developers put their apps in people’s hands. sure there are always those “lite” apps but those dont do much for selling them.

  • Piracy is robbery obviously. How is it that someone is able to afford the iOS or android handset that they tweet from and yet cannot afford a $3 app?

  • RarestName

    I got both iPhone and iPad versions for $0.99 each while they were on sale. Installer xCon and everything, including iCloud sync, works perfectly!

  • To be honest I buy iPhone or iPad as a one time investment because its very expensive here And Downloading cracked apps as a return on investment. This is way it is.

    • Dan

      Return on investment?
      So you give to the rich (Apple) and steal from the poor (developers)?
      Makes sense!
      /sarcasm off

      • Couldn’t agree with you more Dan, this guy is a low life.

      • Yea sort off as it can’t be other way round.

  • iDon’tWantToShareMyDetails

    The system is broken. At first the cracked apps were not such a big deal as there were only quality apps that have reasonable prices, the only exception was the Navigation Apps which were in the $60-$100 range. Now the AppStore is littered with shitty and useless apps, badly designed ones, mock-ups and copies that exist with the sole purpose of tricking someone to give a $1.

    Also in the EU (probably like most parts of the world where dollar isn’t the main currency), Apple doesn’t know what a conversion rate is: $1 != 1EU and that’s why i pay more for the same content as US citizens. So i choose the only way i can deal with this – get it for free. Not to mention that in some countries the CC are not recognized correctly or you need to wait to confirm the purchase.

    So don’t put the blame only to the end user, i’m sure if there was a convenient way to pay for apps most people would be happy to do it (especially when it comes to $1-$3 apps).

  • People are saying about trial apps and what not but take tweetbot for example, that trial is also using up a Token when there is no guarantee that the user will continue using the app :/

    Trials are OK on other apps but once again, then you dont even need to buy the app to crack it… They could make it so you can only download trials on an iDevice and make transfering the IPA to iTunes impossible. But then all you need to do is be jailbroken and you can extract the app…

    Its sort of a no win situation lol

    • iDon’tWantToShareMyDetails

      You have the idiotic idea that everyone should buy the app. That’s what is wrong with RIAA and shitload of other companies (solely fighting for the monopoly they have now). If someone wants to pirate an app, song, movie or game they’ll do so and you can’t stop them. The only thing they have to do is make sure the customers that want to buy the product will be happy (i.e. trial, easy payment, non-intrusive advertising).

      Honestly how can i buy a game that uses my Cellular data to send statistics to the developer’s game service (analytic) even when i disabled this functionality? And that mind you, is a paid app. This is why you’ll have piracy – its just a better and free service.

      • I dont think everyone should buy it, I wish that there was a demo version, I was basically saying that its twitter’s fault with the Tokens and what not that Piracy effects twitter client makers the way it does.

      • iDon’tWantToShareMyDetails

        In this case yes it is, but taking a deep look at AppStore and you start to see that its far from perfect. Not to mention how much i load this pseudo-tech blogs writing about piracy, when none of the authors even bother researching. Why the fuck you condemn something you don’t understand for the sole reason that it appears wrong for you? I respect pirates and admire their perseverance

  • Now like I am surprised! People mainly jailbreak to be able to load pirated apps into their iDevice(s). I am really surprised that you don’t know this clear fact.

    Makes of jailbreak must design their jailbreak code not break Apple’s sig that will allow users to load unsigned apps.

  • here I was hoping the pirated copy kept the GPS data in posted pictures, so followers could “track” the pirates.

    I pirate apps, only because the majority of apps I try, I delete. I might try 5 workout apps, and eventually buy the one I like best. There’s no way I’m not going to pay for all 5.

  • How is Tapbot determining who is a “pirate” and who is a legitimate user?

  • “…it’s just good ol’ human stupidity.”
    Or maybe just honesty? If I were pirating this I would post it by choice. Calling everyone who posts it stupid is…. well stupid.

  • EpicFacepalm

    Lol @ Surenix. People, if you check Surenix’s twitter account you’ll see that he is either trolling or pirating Tweetbot.

  • Haha yes he’s trolling.

  • devjah

    I actually tweeted it. Calling it stupidity is stupid as @facebook-100000448295637:disqus mentioned.

  • XxeryanixX

    I bought Tweetbot in another account then i forgot the password when i want to update to v2.8 i can’t so i downloaded Zuesmos and downloaded it then it said u r using a pirtated copy of tweetbot

  • I personally am using a pirated copy of Tweetbot as we speak. I also get another check from a client in a week or so and have every intention of purchasing it. Only reason I pirated it tonight is so I can mute all the crap about the stupid Sochi Olympics.

  • Nauj

    until Apple introduces a refund system for everyone, i could care less if apps are pirated. and if developers bitch about it, direct them to Apple to voice their opinion on a refund system. for the record, i’m not a poor, cash strapped college kid. I’m just tired of paying for shitty apps.