Why I Bought Tweetbot, and the Rising Cost of Apps

I just happily purchased the new Tweetbot for Mac client for $20, which is probably way more than anyone ever imagined spending on such a specific thing as a Twitter client.  But it was completely worth it to me for a few of reasons:
  • Tweetbot's developers Tapbots do incredible work for the iPhone, iPad and iOS, and I want them to keep doing it.  So I need to help them make enough money to stay in business
  • Tweetbot is not only the best desktop and mobile Twitter client available, it's probably the last great Twitter client that will ever be built because of Twitter's new horrendous API rules
  • I want to help push app paid app economy, which is suffering at the hands of downward price app store price pressure and unreasonable expectations, as proven by the Sparrow dilema
The reality is, as we move in the direction of $0.99 everything, or worse yet propagate the expectation that everything can be gotten for free, we force apps to be gimmicky, ad-laden, or catered to the lowest common denominator in the pursuit of hundreds of millions of users.  As app developer David Barnard puts it:
Computer users used to spend hundreds of dollars for great software and pay again every couple years for upgrades. But over the past couple decades people have grown accustomed to getting more and more value from software while paying less and less for it. The web has played a huge part in that, but the trend was accelerated by the App Store and Apple’s management of it.
Extremely high quality apps that appeal to a niche crowd have a harder and harder time surviving.  That will be the case until we return to being willing to reward high quality applications with adequate payment.  Unless we're happy in a world where Google and other behemoths acquire everything interesting under the sun and decide each fate as it ladders up to their larger objectives.

So I'm following up my purchase of Tweetbot by purchasing Clear, another innovative app that I want to see pursue it's goal.  And I hope others follow suit, because I'd like these products to have a chance at sticking around, and not just until Google buys them and shuts them down.