Twitter looks to weave into more mobile apps

  • AFP, San Francisco
  • Updated: Oct 24, 2014 11:01 IST

Twitter on Wednesday set out to weave itself into mobile applications with a free "Fabric" platform to help developers build better programs and make more money.

Twitter chief executive Dick Costolo touted Fabric as "the future of mobile software development" while unveiling the platform at the one-to-many messaging service's first conference for makers of applications for smartphones or tablet computers.

Fabric consists of software tools to tackle challenges such as stability and distribution of applications as well as streamlining user log ins and placing ads.

The move could build Twitter functions directly into new mobile apps, which could greatly expand the reach of the messaging platform.

Twitter has been under pressure to build up its ranks of users, and making itself a global foundation for sharing, communicating, and placing money-making ads would put it at the heart of modern day mobile Internet lifestyles.

Ubiquitous tweeting

A kit for making sense of application performance data is built on Twitter-owned Crashlytics, while ad management uses the San Francisco-based company's MoPub mobile ad exchange.

"We started Fabric more than a year ago to take on, tackle, and solve challenges faced by developers," Crashlytics co-founder and Twitter product manager Jeff Seibert said during a keynote presentation at the Flight conference for mobile developers.

Fabric puts Twitter at the heart of letting users share comments in real-time from inside mini-programs and providing a common way for people to log in, according to demonstrations at the day-long San Francisco conference.

Fabric promised to weave Twitter into all kinds of mobile applications around the world by letting developers easily build in "tweeting" and logging in using Twitter IDs.

"Nothing is as powerful as someone using your app and wanting to share a moment of pure joy being able to do that instantly," Seibert told developers.

In-app conversations

The list of more than 100 "beta" partners for the Fabric launch included McDonald's, Spotify, Jawbone, and the Wall Street Journal.

"We view Twitter as a very complementary news channel to all of our news brands," said News Corp senior vice president of strategy Raju Narisetti, whose company operates the newspaper.

"Now, our app is part of the conversation people are having about our journalism."

Fabric is being used to quickly detect and fix bugs at streaming music service Spotify, and to let users share songs, according to global business head Jorge Espinel.

"Music is social and meant to be shared, so having a simple implementation to have fans share music via Twitter is critical," Espinel said while taking part in the keynote presentation.

Fabric kits were made available to developers at Flight and will be rolled out broadly to the developer community in coming days, according to Twitter.
Fun, functional or hip applications are seen as vital to the popularity of smartphones or tablets.

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