How Twitter gets up close and personal with the geekdom of mobile app developers

Up close and personal with mobile app developers – this is the new ambition for Twitter as it seeks to win over the hearts of app developers with the latest suite of products featured in its ‘Fabric kit’.

While tweets will remain as Twitter’s foundation, the social media giant is finally catching up to its rivals Facebook and Google with the release of Fabric, which has within its fold a set of different toolkits to make mobile app development a lot easier.

According to technology blog site Gigaom, the departure is a real strategy shift that’s in many ways similar to Google’s growth out of search. 

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo was quoted however by Wired magazine as saying: “It’s not a departure so much as moving beyond Twitter the product and moving into Twitter the company and the platform. 

“It’s about helping define the future of the mobile landscape and building an application developer’s platform for the future,” says Costolo.  

The new SDK (software developers kit) includes three separate parts, Twitter Kit, MoPub and Crashlytics and seven different tools.  The tools are all designed to attract mobile app developers into the Twitter fold by allowing them to have efficient ways to make money off ads, manage app logins and test their apps. 

Fabric

According to Gigaom, Fabric helps developers by showing them where to inject code into their apps, for example developers are now able to quickly add embedded media support to their Twitter clients.  The current system is complex and requires a ton of development resources. 

Digits

Twitter kit is the real carrot in the Fabric collection. It features Digits; giving apps the ability to sign up new users with just a phone number instead of the dreadful task of remembering yet another sign in and password. 

Digit is the latest offering that is incomparable for Twitters rivals, its set to launch on mobile and web platforms for free in 268 countries and 28 languages, a process that could potentially attract many over to Fabric as a result, Gigaom says.

MoPub

Before Twitter went public it acquired an ad exchange called MoPub that is now wrapped into the Fabric fold as an option for developers to make money off ads.  Similar to but a step ahead of Facebook’s Audience Network, it’s essentially a network of networks that easily enables developers to manage their ad inventory, Gigaom adds. 

Twitters director of Mobile Platform, Jeff Seibert says MoPub is the real moneymaker for Twitter in the fabric Suite.  “Thousands of advertisers will bid in real time on your inventory,” he was quoted saying.

Crashlytics

The final counterpart for Fabric is Crashlytics, the tool that through its dashboard allows developers to do crash reporting in the app, run app analytics and gather data. 

A Handful of Crashlytics products have also been designed to address different problems such as Beta, a programme designed to allow developers to manage their app beta testers via a dashboard, while beta testers can test apps without the need to create an account or password. 

Answers

Another tool, Answers, visualises an app’s performance and offer’s real time stats about user activity, while notifying you if something has gone wrong.

Answers is able to pinpoint which line of code in the app may be causing the crashes. 

As the company endeavors to grow they depart from their core products and have attempted to make an impact on how mobile apps are developed.  Kevin Weil who runs Twitters’ business products and leads the Fabric effort says the social media giant is stepping in to make play a more powerful role in the mobile ecosystem.