Google to acquire Twitter's mobile app developer platform Fabric
19 January 2017
Google will acquire Twitter's mobile app developer platform Fabric, and also its Crashlytics crash reporting system, Answers mobile app analytics, Digits SMS login system and FastLane development automation system.
Fabric was launched as a modular software development kit in 2014 to allow developers to pick and choose different tools for improving their apps, and it now served apps reaching 2.5 billion users built by 580,000 developers.
However, even as Twitter tried to get into better financial shape, it was cutting its non-essential divisions. According to commentators, acquisition by Google would see elimination of costs of running Fabric without causing distress to its developers by suddenly shutting it down. Google would continue to operate Fabric and its related tools, and developers would not need to do anything to support the transition.
They say the move raised the question whether Twitter was trying to slim down to take another swing at getting acquired.
The Fabric deal would allow Twitter to offload another asset as it faced pressure to deliver growth. For Google, which will absorb Twitter and the employees working on Fabric, the acquisition was designed to help it recruit mobile developers, a key constituent, to its cloud computing service.
"When we look at Fabric, we see it as a great opportunity to bring together two amazing developer platforms, to really have the best of breeds," said Jason Titus, vice president of Google's Developer Product Group, Bloomberg reported.
Google said in May that it was extending Firebase -- a cloud-based mobile software tool it acquired in 2014 -- into a broader developer platform, competing with similar offerings from Facebook Inc and Twitter's Fabric. Firebase offered mobile app creators tools to build and monitor their apps more easily.
Twitter executives had been looking for ways to sharpen the company's focus with slowing user and revenue growth. Twitter management had also considered spinning-off non-core assets, during the failed process last year to find a buyer, according to people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reported.
During a failed process last year to find a buyer for the whole company, management also discussed spinning off non-core assets, people familiar with the matter said at the time.