An angry response by users of TwitterFon forced the developer to temporarily abandon ads that debuted in an update this weekend. Developer Kazuho Okui announced on his web site Saturday that he was suspending the ads until TwitterFon Pro was released in the App Store. As of today the ads were on display, but so was the brand new TwitterFon Pro.
According to Okui's blog, the plan was to simultaneously release an ad-free pro version and an update to the original Twitterfon that would include a small ad at the top of the Twitter stream. He justified the advertisements as a necessary step to raise revenue for devoting more time and staff to maintaining Twitterfon, which he said up until this time had been only a hobby. He said the submission error was his, and hoped the ad suspension would appease the angry masses.
"Due to my mistake in submitting to App Store, however, the ad-supported free version came out before the pro version, leaving you with no choice but to have to see the ads. I am truly sorry for that. To alleviate your pain a little, I decided to take out the ads until the pro version comes out," he said on his blog.
Underneath another post that announced the update, there were 30 comments, mostly negative, chastizing Okui for adding advertisements to TwitterFon. Several other tweets followed where users complained that ads were suddenly appearing in Twitterfon yet there was no paid option to escape them.
The ads broke with the earlier versions of TwitterFon, which was lauded in an Appcraver review and by users as a streamlined, clean-looking Twitter app that was among the top tier of free options. Twitterfon Pro, however, is now available in the App Store for $4.99. It promises additional features such as the ability to handle multiple accounts, and integration with bit.ly and Instapaper. We'll have a review of the Pro version later today.