Tweetbot for Mac Pricing

Posted at — Oct 19, 2012

After what seemed like an agonising wait for the Mac App Store review period to complete Tweetbot for Mac has now been released. The app went through a long (and strangely quite public1) alpha testing period and as a result there is very little to surprise the user in the finished product. Except that is, the price.

The sale price of $20 has ruffled a few feathers amongst the potential customers for Tweetbot. This is not surprising as there are few Twitter clients in the Mac App Store that sell for more that $5. Additionally Tweetbot for iPhone and Tweetbot for iPad are both priced at $2.99 making a $20 selling price a 666% increase in price for an app that does pretty much the same thing in a consumer’s eyes.

Personally, I feel that the $20 price tag for this piece of software is steep, but still justifiable. Tapbots have put a lot of effort into this application and they deserve some compensation. Additionally, they have to factor in the cost of [Twitter user tokens][] meaning that they can’t rely on an ever-expanding user base in order to re-coup costs. I can understand some of the backlash to the price increase but this is probably more of a case of the previous clients being undervalued, as opposed to this client being overvalued.

I see this as a positive step, not just for Tapbots, but for App Store pricing in general. The long-discussed “race to the bottom” in app pricing can make it difficult for all but the most popular apps to survive. It is good to see a “headline” app take on realistic pricing and hopefully some of the smaller developers will gain the confidence to increase their prices in future. Higher prices will ultimately make for a more sustainable business model that allows small development companies to survive.

[Twitter user tokens]: {% post_url 2012-08-31-maximising-bang-per-token %}

  1. I’m holding onto my conspiracy theory that the Tweetbot for Mac went to alpha very early because Tapbots were tipped off somehow. The fact that the app was around for a while before user token limits were put in place gave Tapbots a chance to acrue more user tokens than they would have done otherwise. ↩︎