By Dan Moren
March 1, 2023 1:20 PM PT
Tweetbot and Twitterrific updated with option to opt-out of subscription refund
When Twitter shut down third-party clients in January, it not only left out in the cold the users of those apps, but the developers too. Many of those apps were significant sources of revenue for the teams behind them, and that income was cut off capriciously, without any warning.
One additional complication is that some clients had shifted to a subscription-based system in recent years, with users paying by the month or the year. Since those subscriptions were generally prepaid, users ended up in a situation where they essentially no longer had access to the app they’d paid for.
Now two of the most popular iOS clients, Twitterrific and Tweetbot, have been updated to offer options to their former customers. By default, if you take no action, you’ll get a pro-rated refund for the amount of time left in your subscription at the point when Twitter cut off access.
While that’s well within your rights as a consumer, it’s also kind of awkward, given that the money comes out of the pockets of those independent app developers like Tapbots and The Iconfactory, who got just as much of the short end of the stick as their users—if not more so. So for both apps there’s also an option to opt out of the refund. (Though you remain eligible if you change your mind.)
In the case of Tapbots, which has recently launched the Mastodon client Ivory, there’s also an option to transfer your existing Tweetbot subscription to Ivory on a non-recurring basis.
Unfortunately, chances are the developers will still end up refunding the majority of subscriptions, if for no other reasons than most customers will probably not even know these options exist, given that they have probably not opened their now defunct third-party Twitter client since they stopped working. But if you’re a former customer who feels like they got their money’s worth over the time you used one of these app, you can at least help lighten the load on those developers as they move on to their next projects.
[Dan Moren is the East Coast Bureau Chief of Six Colors. You can find him on Twitter at @dmoren or reach him by email at email@example.com. The latest novel in his Galactic Cold War series of sci-fi space adventures, The Nova Incident, is available now.]