When I asked Tapbots co-founder Paul Haddad about the pricing, he said that it’s intentionally higher than the company originally intended, due mainly to Twitter’s new API token limits, which cap the maximum number of users that the Tweetbot for Mac client can ever support. This limit is determined separate from that enjoyed by Tweetbot for iOS, and as a result can only every accommodate a much smaller group of users. Once the tokens are gone, Tapbots will no longer be able to sell Tweetbot, so in that sense, this is limited edition software in a very real, non-marketing speak sense.
The thing is, it’s important not to see the number and instantly start making comparisons. You need to look at the price and ask: does this app provide 20 dollars worth of value? Judge it by that standard, and it doesn’t seem so expensive after all.
Looking at it from the basis of economic limitations caused by Twitter, it’s easy to understand why it’s priced at $20. But that’s not why I bought it. I use Tweetbot for iOS almost constantly, day in, day out. It has held a spot on my iPhone dock ever since I bought it last year, and I have never regretted it. Full-featured and polished, it is by far my favourite Twitter client, and I’ve tried many (MANY) of them.
On a more general note, I think we have to try to overcome this resistance toward buying software. It seems that for many people, paying for an app—even one that costs $0.99—is something incomprehensible to them (see brilliant Oatmeal comic). In this day and age, many people still balk at the idea of paying for software, I’m assuming due to the lack of tangible substance (not to mention ease of piracy). But if an app is so useful to you that you use it everyday and it would be something you would hate to be without, then isn’t it worth paying for?
Thus, the question of whether Tweetbot is worth $20 gets a resounding ‘YES’ from me.
NB: Something else to think about—I bought this as soon as I could because the tokens are limited and separate from the iOS version, i.e. just because I have Tweetbot for iOS doesn’t mean I can buy Tweetbot for Mac later and use it. If you love Tweetbot, get it for Mac while you still can.