Tweetbot’s Mac app finally launched in the Mac App Store today, but there’s a catch: Tweetbot for Mac will cost you $20, which is actually a reasonable price considering the circumstances.
The circumstances are these: Mark Jardine of Tweetbot developer Tapbots explains that Tweetbot for Mac will cost $20 “because of Twitter’s recent enforcement of token limits.” Tweetbot only has a limited number of user tokens it can implement and is therefore limited to hosting a small number of users — and because that potential pool of users will be restrained, the company has to charge a higher price. “These tokens dictate how many users Tweetbot for Mac can have,” Jardine says. While initially Tweetbot said it was working closely with Twitter as a result of the API restrictions, collaboration seems to have fallen to the wayside as alpha testing was squeezed out and later the Tapbots developers headed to App.net to try their luck there.
Despite the bumpy road, the Mac client is finally here, although there are some strings attached. One thing to note is that the number of Mac tokens available to Tweetbot are independent of the tokens available for Tweetbot for iOS users, which should be a relief to all the Tweetbot iPhone users out there who want the app for their desktop too. Once the number of tokens available for Tweetbot on Mac are used up, however, Tapbots will discontinue further sales — so you may want to act fast.
An estimated fewer than 100,000 individual user tokens will be made available to Tweetbot based on Twitter’s API guideline Version 1.1. Existing third-party Twitter apps will be offered an additional 200 percent of the app’s current user token, but since Tweetbot for Mac is launching today without an existing user base, this unfortunately won’t apply.
To expand the number of tokens available Twitter explains that it reviews requests on a case-by-case basis. Jardine is aware of this and at the end of his announcement points to Twitter’s support account saying, “feel free to let Twitter know how you feel about it.”
If you were an early participant in the alpha or beta trial of the Tweetbot Mac app but have no intention of purchasing an account, Tapbots is kindly asking these testers to “please do us a huge favor and Revoke access.” With limited tokens available on Tweetbot for Mac, it frees up more space immediately for buyers.
With new stipulations attached to distributing this (and once-free) software, we have to wonder what may happen to buyers that stop using Tweetbot for Mac. We reached out to Tapbots to find out if the company would possibly consider buying back accounts from inactive users. We will update you with their response.