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Tweetro Forced To Charge Users Due To Twitter API Changes

Max 'Beast from the East' Smolaks covers open source, public sector, startups and technology of the future at TechWeekEurope. If you find him looking lost on the streets of London, feed him coffee and sugar.

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The Windows 8-inspired app is no longer free, thanks to Twitter’s hostile policy

Popular Twitter client Tweetro has started to charge its users, after hitting the 100,000 user limit set out in the new API rules, announced in August.

This measure was designed to artificially limit the number of accounts, since Twitter denied developers a “token extension” that would allow them to add more users and keep the service free.

The new Twitter API rules attracted criticism across the developer community, with some saying they would stop developing new features for the microblogging platform altogether.

The Tweetro+ app will be priced at $9.99 for two weeks only, after which the price will increase to $12.99.

Twitter lays down the law

After Twitter bought the Tweetdeck client, it launched a crusade to limit the powers of other clients like Tweetbot or Echofon, while encouraging the development of different types of apps, dealing with analytics, media integration, and the enterprise services.

Blue bird, Twitter © ruforester FotoliaIn November, Twitterstarted enforcing a limit on maximum number of accounts that 3rd party clients are able to serve. This was done to stop others from building “client apps that mimic or reproduce the mainstream Twitter consumer client experience” and thus take away company revenue.

Tweetro is a Twitter client aimed primarily at Windows 8 users. It features complete touch compatibility, and was designed in the visual style of Microsoft’s new OS. The app has many convenient additions absent from the original Twitter client, such as pinch-to-zoom, dynamic layouts and the ability to open the links right inside the app.

Twitter is reportedly working on its own Windows 8 app, but nothing has emerged yet.

After the new API rules came into force, the Tweetro team had to pull the app from the Microsoft store and re-launch it as a paid service – ‘Tweetro+’.

“Had these restrictions not been imposed on us, we’d be more than happy to continue distributing the app freely as the exposure we’ve received from doing so has been amazing,” explained developers Atta Elayyan and Michael Choeung.

“Unfortunately, the circumstances have forced us to put a price tag on it to justify ongoing development. Of course, these restrictions also apply to Tweetro+ meaning we’ll only ever be able to distribute it to a limited number of people.”

Every paying Tweetro+ user will get two “tokens” or accounts, with the addition of a further five possible through a small $2.99 in-app purchase. And if every current Tweetro user pays for the service, the developers will earn several hundred thousand dollars.

Elayyan and Choeung have defended their decision not to finance themselves through advertising. “We despise ads with a passion and will do everything in our power to avoid them,” says a statement on Tweetro website.

The duo has promised to support the app for as long as possible, which by their own admission could be difficult, considering Twitter’s hostile policy.

Earlier this year, the microblogging giant ended a three-year partnership with LinkedIn, saying it didn’t want others to dilute its “core experience”.

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