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qStatus licensing model might be more interesting than the app itself


qStatus is a reasonable-looking piece of shareware. It lets you update your Twitter and Facebook status from the comfort of your desktop, via an interface which is far too elaborate for my tastes. It's all Aero Glass and slick and smooth, but I guess most people like that sort of thing.

To be fair, I haven't tried it, and for all I know, it may be great or horrible (tell me in the comments?). I'm not reviewing the application here; I'm examining its business model. First of all, it's shareware but that's no big news. It offers two registration paths, though:
  • Pay $2.95 per annum. That seems like a bit of a rip-off. I mean, the price tag is cheap (though appropriate for such a simple tool), but what's up with the yearly "subscription?" Do people really go for that? Most likely, there will be far better tools within a year. I feel that this pricing does the product more harm than good, really. Who likes to feel as though they need to pay over and over again for a small desktop application (as opposed to a Web service)? Just sell it as it is. I don't foresee Total Commander switching to a "subscription model" any time soon. (Also, see the "$4.95" next to the button there. qStatus is actually on sale at $2.95 per year!)
  • Tweet 15 times with #qStatus and get it for free. Now, that is actually intriguing. You can tweet whatever you like, just be sure that you include the #qStatus tag in your tweet, and make sure to do it 15 times. A quick Twitter search shows that some people are actually going for this (and I have heard of the app, which must mean something).
This seems like a great way to generate buzz for your application or service. I know of a service that gives free music for tweets (I will cover it in the coming few days), but this is the first time I have seen it applied to a shareware application. My guess is that if the developer created a simple tool to track these tweets and automatically issue licenses, he could probably make more money off of that tool than off of qStatus itself.

Tags: facebook, shareware, social, tweet-this, twitter