Tapbots, the maker of Tweetbot, my favorite Twitter client for the iPhone and iPad, and Netbot, an identical client for the Twitter-like upstart App.net, has released Tweetbot for Mac. Tweetbot had been released as a free public alpha in July and made it into the App Store today at $19.99, a price that’s notably higher than several competing Twitter clients for the Mac.
In a blog post announcing the release, Tapbots explains the new limits imposed by Twitter that are the primary factor driving the price of the app:
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.
Tapbots goes on to explain that the price could change if Twitter allows developers more tokens in the future and encourages users to reach out to Twitter to request this:
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. We spent a year developing this app and it’s the only way for us to be able to make our money back and continue supporting it with updates in the future. Feel free to let Twitter know how you feel about it.
You can hear more directly from Tapbots developer Todd Thomas in this interview over at iMore.
I’ve been using the alpha and beta versions of Tweetbot to date and just downloaded the official Mac App Store version. Its look and feel has not changed significantly from the pre-release versions and it offers several useful features for avid Twitter users and even those who manage multiple Twitter accounts. However, at $20, it’s probably not an insta-buy for many and understandably so. Comparatively, The Iconfactory’s Twitterrific and my previous favorite, Osfoora, are just $4.99. These apps are also subject to Twitter’s token limits, which may prompt these developers to revisit their pricing.
I really like Tweetbot and I have no problem paying a bit more for a useful and well-designed product that I will use on a daily basis. If you feel the same way, Tweetbot is a great Twitter client for the Mac. If not, there are plenty of other less expensive or free apps that work just as well or maybe even better depending on your needs.
If you’ve used the alpha or beta versions of Tweetbot but don’t plan to buy the official Mac App Store version, Tapbots asks that you release your tokens so they’ll be available to others, which you can do by logging into your Twitter account on the web, going to the Apps section, and finding Tweetbot in that list and clicking the Revoke Access button next to it.