Tweetbot and Piracy – You’re doing it right.

Tweetbot and Piracy – You’re doing it right.

Pirated from the iPhone App Store


Tweetbot is typically regarded as one of the best iPhone twitter applications out there. The developers have spent a lot of time making their application awesome in every way. That attention to detail extends even to piracy protection.

The app retails at $2.99 in the app store, which is reasonable but where there is digital content there will always be pirates. Instead of complaining about this or restricting use of the app, they simply make the default tweet text the following phrase:

I’ve been demoing a pirated copy of @tweetbot and really like it so I’m going to buy a copy!

They don’t even force users to post the text. Users simply have to delete the text and can proceed to tweet whatever they wish. All this does is serve as a constant reminder that the app is in fact stolen and the user probably should get some karma back by purchasing the app.

This funny little inclusion is a very basic example of upselling a product. Instead of complaining and whining about competitors and blaming pirates for crappy sales, they include a moderate inconvenience in the app and then put it in the open. Personally, I would list a free version on the App store with this inclusion saying “I like the free version of @tweetbot but will buy paid now!”.

Twitter apps are in the middle of a huge controversy over API tokens right now. Each app only gets 100k, meaning each app can only acquire 100,000 users. Every activation, and every pirate, cut in to that number. They should probably find a better way to prevent piracy, but this simple gesture really shows something about the character of the developers. They’re normal people with a great sense of humor. Hopefully this appeals to you and convinces you to buy the app.

If I had an iPhone, I would go buy the app right now.

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Just a nerdy guy in the United States. Passionate about all new technology. Avid hater of haters.

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