Free(mium) Ollie

Today my longtime friends at The Iconfactory released Twitterrific 5.7, and with this update they set Ollie free. Or rather, freemium.

From their announcement:

Today marks a new era for our venerable Twitter client, Twitterrific. We’re pleased to say that with the 5.7 update, Twitterrific is now free to download from the App Store. It is supported by revenue from Deck Network ads displayed at the top of the timeline and in-app purchases that unlock advanced features such as push notifications and tweet translation.

Twitterrific has been available in the App Store since day one and we’ve experimented with different revenue models in the past, including the one we’re returning to today. Our hope is that this helps get Twitterrific into more people’s hands than ever before so they can enjoy the simple beauty of reading and posting tweets once again.

If you're a longtime fan of Twitterrific, I'm sure the first thought is whether or not you need to pony up for the in-app purchase. Iconfactory is using one of the awesome new features of iOS 7 to make sure existing owners of Twitterrific 5 for iOS don't need to do that. They are smartly using iOS 7 Receipt Validation to check whether you had paid for Twitterrific 5 before, and if so, the in-app purchase is waived.

I think this is a smart change in business model for them. Exposure is everything in the App Store, and this will definitely remove the barrier to entry to get people to see how great third-party Twitter apps are compared to Twitter's own app.

The very first app I bought when I got my iPhone 3G (which was also the launch day for the App Store) was Twitterrific 1.0. The Iconfactory has always had the most sensible approach to Twitter in my mind and Twitterrific has always been my preferred app.

I'm glad to see The Iconfactory setting Ollie free so he can soar higher than ever.