One of the best third-party Twitter clients now requires a subscription. Tweetbot 6, the latest version of developer Tapbots’ app, now costs 99 cents per month, or $5.99 annually. The old Tweetbot 5 client meanwhile, demanded a single $4.99 purchase on iOS and iPadOS. You can download the new app without paying a dime, however you’ll be limited to scrolling through your timeline. If you want to actually tweet, add another account or mess with a variety of settings, you’ll need to accept the company’s new subscription model. “Consistent subscription revenue allows us to continuously improve Tweetbot,” a screen inside the new app explains.
In return, you get an app based on Twitter’s “v2” API. As MacStories explains, that means the client can properly display polls and Twitter cards. You should also notice more image thumbnails, as well as dedicated ‘@’ and ‘#’ buttons in the composition sheet. In addition, Tapbots has added some new themes — there are now nine in total — and alternative app icons, such as Future Noir. Tweetbot 6 also gives you the option to open links in Chrome and Firefox, if you don’t like Safari or Tweebot’s own browser view. Unfortunately, the new version also eliminates some of the services you could use for shortening URLs and uploading media.
Tapbots has released Tweebot 6 with an “early access” label. “We are calling it early access because there are many new features on our roadmap to be built as well as new API’s to adopt as Twitter makes them available,” the developer says on its site. Notably, the macOS version of Tweetbot — which doesn’t yet sport the number 6 — remains a single purchase. On Twitter, the Tapbots said it hadn’t decided whether the two clients would ever be covered under a single subscription. It also clarified that Tweetbot 5 owners can use Tweetbot 6 for a year without paying the subscription.
Even so, the change in business model has angered some users. Many think the price is fair, though, for an app they use every day. “The subscription “backlash” hasn’t been anywhere near as bad as I thought it’d be,” Paul Haddad, co-founder of Tapbots tweeted. “Pretty sure the last time we did a paid upgrade (you know in 20 freaking 15) it was quite a bit worse.” If you’re not happy with the switch, there’s always Twitterrific, Fenix and a bunch of other third-party alternatives, as well as the official Twitter app.