After Twitter discontinued the Tweetbot app, Tapbots released a new Mastodon client called Ivory
Tapbots, the company responsible for the defunct third-party Twitter app Tweetbot caused by Twitter’s API changes, has announced the launch of a new product. With Tweetbot’s departure, the developers of Ivory, a Mastodon client app, have released an Early Access version of their app on the App Store.
Tapbots told us that the “Early Access” subtitle was added to the release because some features would be unavailable at launch. Tapbots has filled the limited number of TestFlight slots it had for its beta version of Ivory, but by launching publicly on the App Store, it can get Ivory into the hands of more people. Approval to release Ivory on the App Store was given just yesterday, according to Tapbots founder Paul Haddad’s comments to TechCrunch. However, the company needed to fix some technical issues related to subscriptions before making the announcement public.
Those who are used to Tweetbot will find a lot to like in Ivory. Instead of acting as a Twitter client, the company has shifted its focus to the promising open source platform Mastodon. Mastodon has gained popularity in the months since Elon Musk purchased Twitter, despite the fact that it is not as easy to use or understand as Twitter.
After the new owner of Twitter made some unpopular changes and the site experienced some performance issues, some users started looking for an alternative platform on which to make short updates similar to those found on Twitter. In response, a flurry of activity surrounded various Twitter substitutes such as Mastodon. In December, Mastodon reached 2.5 million monthly active users across its 8,600 “instances,” or servers.
When comparing the official Mastodon mobile app to the faster, more polished Twitter native mobile app or those from third parties like Tweetbot, some Mastodon newcomers found the former to be preferable. That sparked curiosity in the up-and-coming apps like Ivory and others being developed by ex-Twitter third-party app developers like Mammoth. Tapbots claims that its more than a decade of experience developing the lauded Tweetbot client for Twitter’s platform has informed the design of Ivory’s feature set. There are dozens of features available right off the bat, from support for essential features to fun extras like customising the app’s theme and icon.
You can access your local and federated timelines, popular posts, post statistics, notifications, and more from this app, which supports multiple accounts. It enables both Twitter-like features such as GIFs and polls, and those that are unique to Mastodon, such as the ability to add content warnings to posts. Hashtag tracking, mute filters that support regular expressions, and timeline filters that let you show or hide posts that meet certain criteria are a few of the other thoughtful touches designed to appeal to power users. This feature may also be appreciated by Mastodon’s more seasoned users, who may wish to mute and otherwise filter out the content shared by Mastodon’s newer users who are bringing Twitter’s culture to the network and thus flooding their feeds with irrelevant tweets.
Aside from the aesthetic customizations, Ivory also provides functional ones. In addition to the aforementioned options for customising the look of the app via filters, themes, and icons, users can also tailor the app’s layout to their needs by pressing the appropriate buttons to toggle between different views, such as those dedicated to bookmarks, favourites, statistics, your profile, notifications, lists, search, and more. The app also boasts a sleek interface and polished sound design, as well as lightning-fast performance.
Ivory is a surprisingly powerful piece of software for being brand new. The firm claims that it has many more features planned for the app, such as tools for editing your profile and posts (take that, Edit Tweet button! ), reading the alt/description text for media, improved hashtags, support for custom instance emoji, an improved notifications tab with better filtering, an improved nav bar, and a feature to suppress duplicate posts.
Like Tweetbot, the app will monetize itself through in-app subscriptions. These are listed in the App Store with monthly and annual prices of $1.99 and $14.99, respectively. Furthermore, for an additional $24.99 a year, you can upgrade to a “Premier” subscription. The company promises that the latter will eventually include some additional features in addition to those found in the Pro subscription. Haddad says the Premier tier was added mainly because people were asking to pay more money to help the company out, but that the company plans to include some perks for those people in the future, such as additional icons or wallpapers.
The Ivory app currently supports these subscriptions, which unlock advanced functionality like customising notification settings. The app can be “demoed” without cost or obligation to sign up for a paid plan.
Since Twitter’s API changes eliminated all revenue for Tweetbot, the survival of apps like Ivory depends on users’ openness to switching to Mastodon and paying for third-party clients. As a result of Mastodon’s smaller global user base compared to Twitter’s, Ivory’s revenue potential is lower than it was when the app was known as Tweetbot. (Go to its obituary if you need a dose of sentimentality.) After using the TestFlight version of Ivory for a couple of weeks, we can confidently say that it is one of the best options for accessing Mastodon on iOS devices, despite the fact that it is still in its early stages.