Twitter has a difficult history with third party developers – back in the day (circa 2006-2010), third party apps were, for many, the best way to use Twitter, primarily because they offered features and functionality that the main website did not.
Eventually, Twitter caught up, and as it looked to monetize the platform Twitter decided that third party apps were actually getting in the way. So it went on a bit of a cull, and it’s one that continues to this day.
Now, Twitter is looking to mend those very broken fences by launching Twitter Fabric, a new app development platform that will contain tools that will assist third parties in creating Twitter-friendly apps more easily.
First reported by The Information, Twitter Fabric could push Twitter into competition with Facebook, Amazon and Google, all of whom are working to better integrate their systems into mobile applications.
If successful, the previously undisclosed project could help Twitter boost its nascent ad-network revenue stream, gain a new source of revenue, and hook more users into its own app. It also reflects Twitter’s desire to be at the center of online “identity”. Twitter and its competitors are in an arms race to collect more data about people’s activities and interests across different mobile applications, which could let them broker more expensive ads or build better products.
One tool in Fabric that sounds very interesting is “Digits”, which will allow developers to sign up new users by telephone number. According to The Information, Twitter has been busy signing deals with wireless carriers around the world to tap into their (SMS) text messaging systems. Could be a very effective way to boost users.
(Source: The Information.)