Snippet: Tweetbot and Twitterrific Face the Cliff ☇

Shared on March 1, 2023

John Gruber:

Twitter’s kneecapping of third-party clients didn’t just mean that their future revenue was gone — it meant revenue they’d already collected from App Store subscriptions would need to go back to customers in the form of prorated refunds for the remaining months on each and every user’s annual subscriptions. Consider the gut punch of losing your job — you stop earning income. It’s brutal. Now imagine that the way it worked when you get fired or laid off is that you’re also suddenly on the hook to pay back the last, say, 6 months of your income. That’s where Tapbots and The Iconfactory are.

I can’t recall a situation like this, with an ecosystem of third-party clients collecting subscriptions and then having the first-party service yank the carpet out from under them — and their customers — with zero warning or sunset period. A proper sunset period would have allowed such third-party partners — and developers like Tapbots and The Iconfactory were indeed partners of Twitter — to stop accepting new subscriptions and renewals, and allow existing subscribers to run out the clock with service for the period they already paid for.

I couldn’t bring myself to delete these yet and saw the update the other day—it was a nice way to finally wrap things up for both apps. For what it’s worth, I encourage you not to opt for a refund as as it’s only a few dollars that you’ve already written off and certainly not the fault of these developers. Think of it as a tip for the years of providing better alternatives to the official Twitter app.

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