Tapbots, the company behind Tweetbot for iOS and Mac, has announced that the Tweetbot for Mac Alpha is no longer available as a public download. Tweetbot for Mac has been gearing up to enter the public beta stage before its official release in the Mac App Store, but Twitter’s new restrictions have forced Tapbots to remove the download link for the Tweetbot for Mac Alpha.
Several updates have been pushed out to Mac users running Tweetbot since Tapbots released the alpha on July 11th. Existing users can keep using the app, but everyone else will be left out in the cold until the app goes on sale in the Mac App Store.
Over the weekend I noticed that the Tweetbot for Mac Alpha was no longer working on the Tapbots website, and today’s news reveals the reason.
Paul Haddad of Tapbots explains:
As some of you may have already noticed the download link for the Tweetbot for Mac alpha no longer works. Twitter’s latest API Changes means now we have a large but finite limit on the number of user tokens we can get for Tweetbot for Mac. We’ve been working with Twitter over the last few days to try to work around this limit for the duration of the beta but have been unable to come up with solution that was acceptable to them. Because of this we’ve decided its best for us to pull the alpha.
According to Twitter’s new rules, developers have a limited number of users they can support for their apps. The restriction started August 16th, 2012, and devs will have to personally negotiate with Twitter once a third-party app reaches 100K users or 2x a currently 100k+ user base. One Twitter account login with the same app, like Tweetbot, on multiple devices (iPhone, iPad, Mac) takes a single user token from the allowed user pool.
“With the above rules being in place its easy to see why continuing the public alpha/beta would be problematic,” notes Haddad. “Someone might use the app, decide they don’t like it and the token would be gone forever.”
Tapbots previous message about Twitter’s API rules was “don’t panic,” but it looks like there was more to worry about than previously assumed.