Opening a Twitter account costs a user absolutely nothing. The same goes for the official Twitter app, which is available for the iPhone/iPod touch, and iPad. Companies such as Tapbots offer products that enhance the Twitter experience. For that, users are asked to pay for iOS and/or Mac apps.

It appears that spending as little as $2.99 for a universal app that is often updated is asking too much of some users who would rather pirate the app than pay for it. Now, Tapbots has found an interesting way to shame these folks, according to Gizmodo.

The creators of Tweetbot are signaling out these cheaters every time they attempt to post a tweet using the pirated app, by showing this text in the message box:

I’ve been demoing a pirated copy of @tweetbot and really like it so I’m going to buy a copy!

If a user hits the “Send” button, the message is posted to their Twitter feed. They can also delete the message and continue using the app. The funny thing is some users are actually posting this message, as a quick search on Twitter suggests.

One of the reasons companies like Tapbots charge for apps, besides wanting to make a little bit of money, is the limitations Twitter places on them.

As Tapbots stated in October when the company’s $19.99 Tweetbot for Mac application arrived, they charge so that they don’t run out of Twitter tokens.

These tokens dictate how many users Tweetbot for Mac can have. The app’s limit is separate from, but much smaller than, the limit for Tweetbot for iOS. Once we use up the tokens granted to us by Twitter, we will no longer be able to sell the app to new users. Tapbots will continue to support Tweetbot for Mac for existing customers at that time.

Tapbots’ little jab at pirates is great news. As such, kudos to them for thinking outside the box. To show the company some love, we suggest BUYING Tweetbot for iOS, or the company’s Mac version.

Just how great is Tweetbot? Take a look at our original review.