Dev Log #2 - Monetising Twine in Future

Dev Log #2 - Monetising Twine in Future
Photo by Anete Lūsiņa / Unsplash

Alright, here we go. Another weekend, another dev log. I am still trying to figure out how to structure this or how often I would want to post this. So bear with me as I figure that out.

Well now onto the dev log, this was a fun and eventful week. I decided to post about Twine on Hacker News and Lobsters, and both did well and reached the top of the main page.

That was a surprise for me because I had posted it in the past, but at that time I barely got any feedback on the project. However last time I didn't have a fully fleshed-out project README on GitHub with just a few images, and the app had slightly fewer features and not-so-great screenshots on both the App Store and Play Store. So, this time after receiving some feedback on Reddit, I had to do a fresh new set of screenshots on Figma for the app and I think they turned out well.

So, it's a learning experience for me to understand how important these things are. I always thought I just had to focus more on building the best product I could, but selling it is also a skill I need to learn and get better at.

Apart from this, I continued working on Twine, features, refactoring some stuff and of course fixing bugs like dealing with config changes on Android 🙃.

Starting, one of the smallest changes that will have a huge impact on the release on iOS for me is, switching to M1 machines on GitHub Actions. I just had to update my machine to macos-14 and it uses the new M1 machines.

Use Mac M1 runner for iOS prod release workflow · msasikanth/twine@03f6846
Twine: A multiplatform RSS reader built using Kotlin and Compose - Use Mac M1 runner for iOS prod release workflow · msasikanth/twine@03f6846

This shaved off more than 5 minutes from my archive builds for iOS when making releases.

Migrated Twine to use Coil 3 multi-platform. This helped me remove a bunch of code I had to do for loading images on iOS and also offered better support for different formats and caching. I am glad this finally happened 🙌🏾

It was interesting and frustrating at times trying to figure out how to integrate some of the new changes into the dynamic content theming I had or DI, it's mostly to do with how I structured my code initially though, so did some refactoring around it. You can check the changes here:

Migrate to Coil3 Multiplatform (#268) · msasikanth/twine@dd2a89b
* Bump coil dependency to v3.0.0-alpha03 Also added the coil network package, since that's required to load network images now * Provide coil `ImageLoader` via `ImageLoaderComponent` *…

Next up

Of course, I continue to work on new features and improving Twine in general. I have picked out a few features I want to get done this year (not in any order).

  • Labels
  • Per feed customisations
  • Notifications
  • Improve reader view

There is one more major change I want to implement.

Monetising Twine

My initial plan for Twine was to keep it open source and then get sponsors for the project on GitHub. So, that I can sustainably work in my free time.

Sponsor @msasikanth on GitHub Sponsors
Support Sasikanth’s open source work. These sponsors help me to build high quality projects on the side.

But unfortunately, that did not work as expected. Most people aren't familiar with that or don't even have visibility about something like that when using the app, especially for people outside of the dev community.

So, late last year I was planning on introducing monetisation in the app and discussed it with a few people and these options seem like good options. Don't worry, I still want to keep the core app free, and I am not adding ads or making the app paid now. There are a couple of features I can potentially offer as an in-app purchase which provides value to users.

  • Customisations (potentially app & reader view themes, app icons, etc.,?)
  • Integrations
    • Provide support for 3rd party feed readers APIs like feed bin, self-hosted fever instances, etc.,
  • Adding a tip option in the app

or as a completely new product

  • Desktop apps (potentially?)

I think these act as a good way to monetise the app. What do you folks think? Are these something you are interested in or find value in? Let me know in the comments.

Edit: Forgot to mention this originally, but these changes will continue to be open source as well. In case you’re wondering.

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