Very soon, everyone could be using Twitter whether they tweet or not, thanks to a new software development kit aimed at mobile developers.
Dubbed Fabric and introduced Wednesday at the Twitter Flight conference in San Francisco, the free set of development tools simplifies creation of new apps — and promises to give Twitter new access to mobile advertising revenues. Mobile already accounted for 81 percent of Twitter’s ad revenue in the past quarter; Fabric will extend Twitter’s advertising reach beyond the Twitter social-media software itself.
Fabric includes three capabilities developers can easily integrate into any app they create. MoPub, which Twitter acquired in 2013, makes it simple for them to create native ads. Crash-reporting solution Crashlytics, also acquired in 2013, helps create more stable mobile software. Finally, Twitter itself will work as a distribution tool that helps developers leverage native tweet embeds and sign-ins while also integrating Digits, its new phone-number-based login.
Digits represents Twitter’s grand scheme to make passwords obsolete. This standalone service will allow users to sign in with their phone numbers instead of having to remember passwords.
If developers embrace Fabric, the customer base for Twitter services will jump precipitously. The new products might not immediately improve Twitter’s ad revenue, but being able to gather data from everyone who opens an app certainly lays the groundwork for future growth.
Twitter could use the boost. According to eMarketer, in 2014 Google will claim 57.8 percent of mobile ad revenues, Facebook will grab 11.1 percent and Twitter will take just 3.5 percent.
Fabric demonstrates that Twitter is rapidly diversifying from a one-trick pony into a multi-tiered solution for advertisers. If developers embrace Fabric, there is every reason to believe Twitter is poised to grab a bigger piece of the market.