Popular twitter client Hootsuite is shaking up the pricing structure for its Android and iOS versions. Starting October 13th, the free lite version and the paid version will merge into a single free application. This free application will tie into Hootsuite Pro, an online service that offers advanced features for those willing to cough up $5.99 per month. This new free app will offer an ad-free interface with all the standard features available in the full version which is available for $2.99. Advanced features in the free app will be enabled via a subscription to Hootsuite’s Pro service.
Current Hootsuite owners may be a bit miffed that Hootsuite is now offering its full version for free. To help placate these users, Hootsuite is grandfathering you into this current version of the application. According to Hootsuite, “You purchased HootSuite for the ability to add unlimited social networks to your phone, to view ow.ly stats, and to have an ad-free mobile interface. You’ll get to keep these things on your iPhone, even after we make the app free.” So even if Hootsuite limits the free app or introduces ads in the future, you will be able to keep the current version with the above features intact.
Anyone who wants to lock in with this current paid app can do so by purchasing and registering the app with your Hootsuite account before October 13th at noon PST. If you already purchased and ran the application, then you have achieved grandfathered status and can choose to keep your current app or switch to the new free version when it is released in the upcoming week.
All those users who ponied up the cash to buy the paid version of Hootsuite should keep their chin up. For the pice of a Starbucks coffe, you helped out the developer and get to keep the app that your purchased. Developers face a difficult decision when trying to make sweeping changes like this and always seem to disappoint a subset of their users. It is unpleasant but inevitable.
Hootsuite also confirmed that it is working on its BlackBerry and iPad version and will offer these versions for free.