The release of the astoundingly great Tweetbot for Mac came out yesterday. But along with it, the $20 price tag caused horrendous outrage. Here are my thoughts.
I have seen people compare Tweetbot’s price to the update between 10.7 and 10.8 — let’s get this straight; that upgrade was for the price of the new features. Your Mac already had a completely stable and usable OS; 10.8 just added features and minor refinements. Tweetbot’s price covers a complete feature that was not present previously nor subsided by relatively high hardware prices.
Angry Birds is priced in tiers, cheap on iPhone, mid-range on iPad and the most expensive on OSX. As far as one can tell, the price is related to the screen size, which is fair, because each gets progressively more expensive. Tweetbot, though, is the same price on both its iOS versions for iPhone and iPad: $2.99. The Mac version costs $20. That’s a huge difference.
The stated reason, I guess, is that Twitter messed everything up for Tweetbot when tokens for users became limited. Limiting tokens put a hardcap on the number of users an app could have, which means a hardcap on the earnings from the app. To make up for the smaller set of tokens for Tweetbot, they decided to have a high price for the app. I wonder about this though: with the price so high, what will happen when the beta testers (while the app was free) don’t actually go out and buy the app, but leave their Tweetbot token to languish? Or does the released version use a different token?
Neal Young sent me a link to clarify about the token situation.
If you’ve used the Alphas/Betas and have decided not to purchase, please do us a huge favor and Revoke access; that frees up extra tokens for potential customers (the betas will expire anyways).
$20 for a Twitter seems high, but I wouldn’t mind an alternative. Paying the developers $10 for a great looking and well working app seems fine for correspondingly priced apps on iOS, and paying $10 to Twitter for less ads, more tokens and maybe more friendliness.
Just so you know: I bought Tweetbot.