Tapbots, the maker of Tweetbot, has released version 6 of the app, introducing a new subscription pricing model along with a handful of timeline and design updates.
The subscription costs $0.99 per month or $5.99 annually. Many of the features previously available as part of the paid app, including multiple account support, advanced filtering, and push notifications, are now subscription-only features. Tapbots says that subscribers will also benefit from future updates as Twitter expands its third-party APIs and ensure Tweetbot’s continued development. You can still download the app to view your timeline if you’re not willing to subscribe, but the free version is read-only, so it isn’t possible to tweet from it.
Aside from the new pricing model, Tweetbot 6 has only implemented a handful of new features, including a few changes to the timeline view and some design changes. In the main timeline, you’ll notice more image thumbnails than before. Polls and cards are also visible thanks to the implementation of Twitter’s latest third-party APIs, and there are new dedicated ‘@’ and ‘#’ buttons in the app’s tweet composition sheet.
Tweetbot 6 has implemented changes to the app’s settings too:
- There are three new alternative app icons: Future, Future Noir, and Future Metal, which bear a close resemblance to the Modern versions of the icon
- There are more and different UI themes, including four light versions and five dark versions where previously there were five total
- Dark mode has been extended to the app’s Settings screens
- Chrome and Firefox have been added as browser options for opening links
- Service options for URL shortening, image uploads, and video uploads have been eliminated
The move to subscriptions isn’t easy. No matter how well it is handled, the change upsets a segment of users who aren’t willing to sign up. However, in the long run, a successful transition to subscriptions makes up for lost users with recurring revenue, which I’m sure an experienced development team like Tapbots has considered.
I have no issue with subscriptions conceptually, but they rightly carry the expectation that in return for regular payments, users will receive meaningful, periodic updates. Recognizing this, many developers time the move to a subscription with a substantial app update to start off on the right foot, which Tapbots hasn’t done. Tweetbot’s subscription is primarily based on the promise of future updates. Even though the Tweetbot subscription isn’t expensive, I think Tapbots owes its users more than it has delivered. It’s a shame because Tweetbot remains one of the premier third-party Twitter clients for iOS. Hopefully, the lack of new features in this update will be addressed in subsequent releases.
Tweetbot is available as a free download on the App Store, but a subscription is necessary to send tweets and access other features.