Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Tweetbot 6 for iOS

John Voorhees (Tapbots):

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.

$6/year seems reasonable, though it’s not clear whether the Mac version will eventually require an additional subscription. It doesn’t replace the old app, so nothing is taken away from those who have already paid for version 5.

Juli Clover:

The update adds support for Twitter’s V2 API, adding interface options for polls and cards for the first time, and it tweaks the timeline view and adds support for more tweet data. There are new “@” and “#” buttons when composing a tweet, plus there are new app icon options and more UI themes.

Paul Haddad:

Not sure if its a new App Store rule, or just whichever reviewer we got, but they requested that we remove Tweetbot 5 from sale within 30 days of Tweetbot 6 going live.

And by request I mean wouldn’t approve until we agreed.

This is weird, though. Tapbots is trying to do the right thing by letting people keep using the old app, but Apple won’t let them fix any bugs that crop up?

Damien Petrilli:

The “value” provided by Apple. The new Tweetbot doesn’t show up in the results. I scrolled multiple screens and nowhere to be found.


Update (2021-01-27): Paul Haddad:

No Swift, No 3rd party code. I’m a dinosaur and proud of it. I’m also lazy and have no desire to rewrite a ton of perfectly fine working code.

Jonathan Deutsch:

Apple should have a separate “unlisted” state that does not allow new purchases or it to show up in search results but still:

  • Has an app page with the URL working
  • Allows updates to be downloaded

Every now and then I put Hype 3 back up for sale to let folks still on that version get updates in case they missed it.

Some v3 versions have a crash-on-launch with 10.15+ and we keep getting emails about it. It wouldn’t be a problem if they could get the update normally.

Paul Haddad:

The subscription “backlash” hasn’t been anywhere near as bad as I thought it’d be. Pretty sure the last time we did a paid upgrade (you know in 20 freaking 15) it was quite a bit worse.


I think a lot of the backlash on subscriptions is the prices being so apparently high. Seems like a lot of apps go with significantly higher prices when going to subs which I can see annoying people.

Philippe Hausler:

I am impressed with the perf improvements. It seems considerably smoother. Thank you! Well worth the small price for a subscription to keep quality software like this up and rollin.

Michael Rockwell:

I have some complaints about the new link previews, though. Each time I publish on my short-form site, IFTTT automatically publishes a tweet with the content of the post and a link back to mike.rockwell.mx. This is all I want, nothing more and nothing less. But Tweetbot 6 generates a preview of the link. Sometimes.

Paul Haddad:

Twitter’s V2 API is still marked as Early Access, so we matched that as there’s still bugs in their API (though we work around most of them). Once they call it 1.0 or what not, we’ll remove the tag.

Nick Heer:

Tapbots’ ability to update Tweetbot is, alas, limited by how fast Twitter builds out its new more developer-friendly API. For example, while you can now view polls in Tweetbot, you cannot vote in them; it will prompt you to open the poll in the Twitter app if you try. You cannot view who liked a tweet or retweeted a post with a comment. You cannot search tweets from more than the last seven days. All of these limitations are on Twitter’s end and have nothing to do with Tweetbot specifically.

Paul Haddad:

Twitter actually lists a roadmap of their API. There’s no dates but gives a rough idea of what’s coming up. Access levels/Rate limits for some of the new stuff is not usable by us at this time, but it’s something they are looking at.

Update (2021-11-12): Paul Haddad:

I was asked in a couple very different contexts today if subscriptions have been working out. And yep they have. Barring a huge amount of churn or some unforeseen external changes we’re already at a long term sustainable level.

Update (2022-01-31): Tapbots:

It’s been exactly a year since we launched Tweetbot 6! Here are all the updates that happened to Tweetbot in the past year


While subscriptions are a controversial topic, it has allowed us to continuously make Tweetbot a better product. We are excited to make this year’s subscription worth it to you again.

18 Comments RSS · Twitter

It’s the end-of-the-line for me. I can use Aviary (one-time payment) or the default Twitter app. It’s a really nice app. I just can’t take yet another subscription for an entertainment item.

I know that $6 a year is “less than a cup of coffee”. I’ve been reminded of that, a thousand times, by every developer, newsletter, and web site who wants me to sign up for a subscription. And I know that if I paid for upgrades—which I am willing to do!—that “over the lifetime of the upgrade you’ll save money with our subscription plan”.

What I’m thinking, though, is that I’ve got another subscription, buried in some account that I’ll forget about. It’s a nagging cognitive load that only grows. And once they hook into your billing plan they’ll start adding features or modifying the app in a way that forces you to upgrade to ever-more-expensive tiers. It’s like cable TV. Cut the cord.

I know this isn’t Paul’s fault, but I’m gonna hold off on Tweetbot 6. I’m simultaneously getting tired of Apple and Twitter making their platforms hellsites.

- I hope even if I try TB6, I can go back to TB5. Given Apple capriciousness as on macOS I’ll stay with what works.

- Twitter has turned into a hellsite. Everyone I like, mainly Japanese manga artists are being bullied off the site or as with the AppStore capriciously “cancelled”. Two recently examples are a pn award winning highschool girl who was hounded on Twitter and it extended into real life. Second example was commercially published ero artist Ennorei who Twitter permabanned for no reason whatsoever.

I really appreciate the work TapBots does, but for me there’s no point sinking good money into a bad platform.

When Tweetbot 5 stops working I’ll just stick with Brave. When Twitter eventually “cancels” my account there’s the Fedi.

I'm with @Nate on this. I wish Tapbots the best, and I've been using Tweetbot for the better part of a decade: it's a great program, but I'm fed up with subscriptions, no matter how reasonable the cost. I'll happily pay a fixed price for major version upgrades if I find them compelling, or if an OS update breaks compatibility such that I need a new version (as just happened with OmniOutliner).

Adobe has me over a barrel because I foolishly put all my photos into Lightroom, but I hate Creative Cloud and the subscription model so much that I refuse to take on another one; it feels like extortion to access my own data, and I get no value from the changes to the software. When Office 2011 quits working, that's the end of the line for it: no 365 for me.

I also hate the general move towards subscription pricing, it’s just too expensive for normal people, at least where I live.

However, $6 per year is totally fair and tapbots got this right - too many apps going from one time purchase to subscription model end up asking $30 per or more per year, and that does not add up from the consumer point of view. The normal cup of coffee comparison is per month, but tapbots it’s per year.

I’m really anxious about upgrading to big sur because I have a bunch of Mac apps that I use semi-regularly that are old, pre subscription versions. Like got tower. I use tower 5 times a month maybe, and the one time payment was perfect, considering I used it over 2 or 3 years at least. Sketch has a good model, and I wish more companies would copy that...

I got the annual subscription pretty much sight-unseen.

Usual concerns with subscription pricing aside, Tweetbot is an app that I use a hell of a lot out of almost every single day, so six bucks a year is nothing. I also want to (implicitly) encourage Twitter to keep evolving their third-party API in a way they didn’t for many years, and it looks like they’re now open to that.

What I’m thinking, though, is that I’ve got another subscription, buried in some account that I’ll forget about.

To be fair, this one works through the App Store, so at least it gets listed alongside your other Apple-related subscriptions at: https://apps.apple.com/account/subscriptions (I wish it were easier to see them across multiple Apple IDs, though).

Second example was commercially published ero artist Ennorei who Twitter permabanned for no reason whatsoever.

Whether I agree with the policy or not, I do think “posts barely-covered breasts and vulva” counts as a reason. I wasn’t there to witness it, but it sounds like the relevant policy is:


For this reason, you can’t include [..] adult content within areas that are highly visible on Twitter, including in live video, profile, header, or List banner images. If you share this content on Twitter, you need to mark your account as sensitive. Doing so places images and videos behind an interstitial (or warning message), that needs to be acknowledged before your media can be viewed. Using this feature means that people who don’t want to see sensitive media can avoid it, or make an informed decision before they choose to view it.

Perhaps they put that picture in their profile image.

(Not that it matters. Just go to Fedi.)

When Office 2011 quits working, that’s the end of the line for it: no 365 for me.

You can still buy standalone versions of Office, most recently version 2019: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/blog/2018/09/24/office-2019-is-now-available-for-windows-and-mac/

Of course, some features work best with their cloud (the collaborative editing, for example).

[…] is certainly confusing. Michael Tsai rolled up a number of clarifying comments on his blog, worth a look if you are a dev interested in this issue, especially if you are exploring the […]

I. Hate. Subscriptions.
And because Tweetbot 5 got discontinued it’s Goodbye Tapbots for me.
Thanks for a great time though. I’ll miss you.

Tweetbot is a great app and they have landed on the right price, it seems to me — the same price I'd be willing to pay for an annually updated app. But Twitter as a platform has become way too capricious, as others note, to base any business on. I hope the Tapbots guys branch out and bring their brilliance to other platforms in communication.

Kinda getting tired of forum sliders like “not that it matters, I don’t know the issue, so I’m going to cite a rule and make an assertion that favors my argument” Soren. You can read that your argument was fallacious straight from the source, Ennorei’s publisher, On Takashi.


In fact you should read the entire thread.

The problem isn’t really Soren, it’s that people like Soren work within Apple and Twitter and “enforce rules, to their own agenda” very selectively. It’s why developers give up, it’s why endusers give up, and taking Soren’s advice, migrate elsewhere. I won’t be posting here as much, mission accomplished.

Since I’m migrating my attentions elsewhere, kindly don’t follow.

@Sören, I looked into the standalone Office 2019 last year, and never pulled the trigger on it because the "more info" page seems to indicate a poison pill of being licensed to a single user account on each computer. If anyone can confirm that it works with multiple user accounts on the same Mac, I'd be grateful. https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/p/office-home-student-2019/CFQ7TTC0K7C8?activetab=pivot%3aoverviewtab

(with apologies to Michael for abusing his comments section, as usual)

@Adam, I just purchased a license for Office 2019 Home and Student edition. It is a license to run on one machine, and it is tied to a Microsoft account. You add the license to your account, it doesn't install without that step.
Cheers, Liam

I'm happy Tweetbot 5 and will not pay a subscription. Instead I will migrate to another app that offers their services for a fixed fee, then jump to the next app when that app is discontinued. I'll continue doing that every year to avoid having to pay an annual subscription.

[…] (EUR 6,49!) für mich ein Nobrainer. Wer sich das Sudern ums Abomodell dennoch geben will, dem sei Michael Tsais Zusammenfassung zu Tweetbot 6 […]

The price is certainly reasonable, but after using 5 and 6 side-by-side, I can’t see a reason to upgrade just yet.

The Martini Cat

This is great news because I don't want Paul to go out of business, but not so great news because I don't want to do another subscription. But it's good news because he probably won't go out of business, but not so good news because the Twitter API is too slow to update. I think I will wait until it all shakes down & then probably subscribe. Either way, thanks, Paul!

I have mixed feelings about subscriptions. I need to feel that the price isn't going up unreasonably. I bought Tweetbot5 in 2018 for £6 I think. So that's around £3 a year. It *feels* like £6 a year subscription is double the price. As it stands, that's a psychological barrier I can't get over. I'd pay £4 a year for as long as the app lasts even if that then means I've paid more in total than I paid for Tweetbot 5. But the psychological barrier in subscription pricing means that if I feel it's a big price jump, I can't pay it.

I'm prepared to go for the new version when necessary, but previous version 5 still works despite apparently being impossible to be updated or to install on a new device. The only problem I encounter is the Google Translate button uses an old format for its URL so doesn't work. (They did update that on the Mac version)

@Paul I think I ran into other problems with version 5 like images not loading.

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