Last year I wrote that I would be removing Tweet Library from the App Store at the end of December, and later said on Core Int and in a tweet that there would be one last update before the app is gone. It’s well into January and the old version is still for sale. I’m over a month behind schedule but still plan to release the updated version and stop selling the app.
On the latest Release Notes podcast there was a great discussion about when to give up on an app that isn’t making money, including a mention of my plan with Tweet Library. Joe and Charles talked about why it’s usually such a bad idea to promise features before you ship, and whether there’s an obligation to give customers any updates at all.
I pretty much agree with everything they said, but the upcoming Tweet Library 2.7 “features” are different. My goal with this release is for the app to be functional and stable for as long possible. I think the app needs better syncing of tweet collections to help future-proof it, to make it easier for customers to move between iOS devices when they upgrade their iPhone or iPad a year from now. For an app that is going away, I should do everything I can to make sure that a customer’s data is accessible and that import and export are as robust as possible.
It’s a reasonable question to ask why I would spend so much time working on something that will essentially bring in no additional revenue. But while it won’t directly make any money, it probably helped convince some new customers to buy the app over the last month, and it will very likely reduce the support burden for the app over the following year.
I also view it as a sort of parting “thank you” to my customers. It’s just the right thing to do to wrap up the app. Panic did the same thing when they stopped selling Unison, releasing a major free update at the same time.
If you’re interested in picking up a copy of Tweet Library before it’s too late, you can buy it on the App Store for $4.99. The new version should ship in early February.