Musings from Munkimatt

A flow of whatever tickles my fancy

How much is ‘nicer’ worth to you?

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£7.

Not a lot of money you may think.

But my word it caused an almighty storm this morning.

Recently there has been a lot of buzz on Twitter regarding Gravity, which is being billed as the first fully featured Twitter app for S60 devices. Beta testers have been giving glowing reports, and when news came out last week saying that it was to launch this today there were a lot of people looking forward to finally using it.

This morning I saw a tweet from Gerrymoth (writer on the excellent Nokia Addict blog) announcing that it was now available for download. I instantly headed over to the site, eager to get Twittering from my 5800 XpressMusic. But then I was stopped in my tracks by something I didn’t really expect.

Two button. One saying ‘Buy’ and the other ‘Download trial version’.

I have to pay? This I didn’t expect.

Now, I’m 26 and a salesman by trade. I know that very rarely anything in life is free. However over the 7 years of using S60 devices I honestly can’t remember ever paying for an application.

Why?

Because there’s nearly always a free alternative.

For Twitter, there’s Dabr, an excellent mobile friendly site that offers everything I need. I can upload pictures, direct message, reply, retweet, everything.

I clicked the buy link out of interest to see the price. I was thinking £5 at the most. Up it popped, to buy Gravity it would set me back £7.27. Cheap, but why pay when I can do the same for free?

So I posted this to Twitter, asking if it was worth the money. Gerrymoth fired back instantly with his response but it was one word that caught my attention.

Nicer.

So I loaded up the app and yes, it’s a lovely, gorgeous, clean interface. It’s quick, the scrolling on the touchscreen 5800 is fantastic and it does exactly what it says on the tin, it’s fully featured just as they advertised. But did I really want to open my dusty wallet and spend £7 on what effectively is just a prettier way to post to Twitter from my phone?

Turned out I wasn’t the only one asking this question. James Whatley seemed shocked at the price and at one point ended up having a fairly forthright discussion   regarding its value and later echoed my thoughts of a £5 price. Later we realised that the beta testers, who at this point were strongly defending the application, received the officially released version free of charge, therefore they paid nothing to use it.

Without wanting to sound terribly aggressive here,  how can you place a value on something when you’ve paid nothing to use it, especially when it offers nothing over the free alternative than it being ‘nicer’?

I’m not a particularly tight-fisted guy, in fact I’d go as far as to say I’m positively liberal with my money. Despite that though I can’t see the point of paying extra for something that will not contribute extra to my overall user experience.

So my question to you Tweeters is this; Are you happy to pay extra for nicer? Are you moving to Gravity (or another paid for client) or are you happy using free alternatives?

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March 30, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , ,

5 Comments »

  1. Gravity is prettier Dabr, you summed it up perfectly. When Gravity starts doing something that Dabr doesn’t in terms of features, then I may consider it.

    7 quid however is too much, even 5, you know if something like this was on the App Store it would be 1 dollar/pound/euro.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UD91rBY3sMI Tweetie is worth the money IMHO

    Comment by Stefan Constantinescu | March 30, 2009 | Reply

  2. from all the tweets I’ve seen today there are lots of people very happy to pay the £7 price!

    Oh and I know what u mean by ur not used to paying for apps???? 😀

    Comment by gerrymoth | March 30, 2009 | Reply

  3. one word – competition

    On the app store this would be one of many Twitter apps, Gravity it is the only native S60 one currently, and £7 is a lot less than the previous average price of S60 apps (which was around £20 i think).

    And for all those people who are not willing to pay £7, but say they would buy it at £5, i have read a number of articles recently from people developing for iPhone around pricing and conversion rates.

    Comment by mike | March 30, 2009 | Reply

  4. I’m with you on this one. I find i’m not comfortable buying software for my Nokia phones. I’ve heard nightmare problems with IMEI locking, and purchasing for S60, so I haven’t.

    On the flipside, I don’t mind buying software for my iPhone. I can buy it once from Apple, and I know it’ll be available for me if I upgrade my phone and resync. Ease of use goes a LONG way, and Nokia needs to make the Ovi Store as easy as the iPhone App Store to compete, IMHO.

    And $10 is on the high end of what I’d pay for a phone app. $1 purchase decisions are the easiest!

    Comment by norcalbarney | March 30, 2009 | Reply

  5. i’d pay £7 for nicer shoes maybe…

    Comment by ana | March 31, 2009 | Reply


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