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Twitter Sells Fabric to Google

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Google has bought Twitter Fabric and will integrate the platform into Firebase.

Twitter bought Crashlytics, including its main products – Crash Reporting, Beta Distribution and Mobile Analytics – in 2013. A year later, Twitter announced the Fabric platform including, besides the initial Crashlytics offering, a number of other apps such as MoPub (advertising), Digits (authentication) and Twitter Kit (integration with Twitter), all meant to create an attractive back-end for mobile developers. And it seemed quite successful considering the 580K developers using it and its reach of 2.5B devices, according to Twitter. But now they have decided to sell it to Google, which will integrate some of the SDKs and services into Firebase.

It is not clear which products will make it into Firebase and which not. It seems that Digits and MoPub will not. Google is very interested in Crashlytics, which will be part of Firebase because it is “a popular, trusted tool,” said Francis Ma, Product Manager for Firebase. Google is to provide more information on how they are going to integrate Fabric into Firebase over the coming months, including details on Answers and Fastlane. The developers working on Fabric on Twitter will move offices and continue their work as part of the Firebase team at Google. Twitter will maintain the Fabric services running until the transition to Google will be completed.

Commenting on this transaction, Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, emphasized the company’s decision to focus on their core business, saying “As we embark on 2017, we are focusing on our core products and business to best position Twitter for long-term growth,” adding that “Google’s commitment to building mobile developer tools is a strong match for these products [Fabric], customers, and team.” He also reiterated their commitment to developers, mentioning the intent to continue development of their “public APIs, our Publisher Platform products including Twitter Kit and TweetDeck, our Ads API, MoPub, and Gnip.” It remains to see how well the developers will receive this move.

It is interesting to note that this is the second major mobile back-end that stops operating after Facebook Parse. Parse recently published a notice that all services will stop operating on January 30, providing advice on how to migrate the data. Both Facebook and Twitter are major software developers with interests in the mobile and web space, and both have decided to get out of the mobile back-end business. In the meantime, Google is consolidating their position through Firebase. There are a number of other providers (details here and here), but they are smaller, and lacking some of the services. Will Google dominate this space?

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