Twitters Fabric Platform
How Twitters Fabric Platform SDK’s Benefit Your App Development
Since its inception back in March 2006, Twitter has built its brand solely around Tweets. Any analyst will tell you that a business built around a single product is on dangerous ground. So, with that in mind, Twitter has decided to branch out not only into the ad world but into the world of app development with a new Software Development Kit (SDK) called Fabric.
The plan is this; turn everyone who uses a mobile phone into a Twitter user…even if they don’t use Twitter itself.
Well, it isn’t, really. Fabric offers app developers a suite of tools that have been built to make their lives a whole lot easier. The hope is that Fabric proves so irresistible to app developers that it is used each and every time they create a new application, thus embedding a little bit of Twitter into each app as it is being built.
The Seven Tools of Fabric
Fabric gives developers tools that, amongst other things, provide simplified analytics and improved log in and sign up processes on their mobile applications for free. Let’s take a look at each one in a little more depth:
For those in the business of making and selling apps, reviews matter. Bad reviews and low star ratings can seriously affect how well an app performs when it goes to market. One of the main things that cause users to leave poor reviews is the age-old problem of crashing.
While it’s true that all apps crash, lowering the amount of times that it happens can be the difference between success and failure. However, in order to prevent it, you need to know why it is happening in the first place, and that’s where Crashlytics comes in.
Crashlytics can dramatically reduce the amount of time that a developer spends debugging. The tool can pinpoint the root cause of the problem right down to the specific line of code that is causing the app to fail, making the painstaking task of trawling through pages of code a thing of the past and improving update times significantly.
Beta by Crashlytics
Developers know the power of testing, but getting users to engage can often be a chore. Fabric makes this process a whole lot easier with Beta by Crashlytics.
This tool simplifies both the beta process for your users and the analysis end for developers. Users can start testing immediately upon accepting an email invite and, once they’re up and running, developers can track their progress via an easy to follow dashboard that allows you to follow every step of the process.
Fully integrated with Crashlytics, this beta testing tool gives you the opportunity to provide end users with exactly what they want – a stable and high performing app. While for developers, the connection with numerous existing IDE plugins will make gathering testers a breeze.
Analysing metrics can be a real rabbit hole for developers. Time melts away as you sift through numbers and stats that can often leave you scratching your head. Answers goes a long way to preventing that.
As another part of the Crashlytics kit, Answers gives developers the data that they need in a way that simplifies an apps critical performance metrics. Answers has the capability to learn how your app behaves and inform you of any important or abnormal behaviours, freeing you up to do what you do best – create great apps.
It is widely predicted that the future of app logins will see the demise of the email address and the rise of the phone number as the primary identifier.
Thankfully, Fabric has developers covered with Digits.
Digits offers developers a way to integrate phone number sign-in into their applications via the existing Twitter infrastructure. This eliminates the need for multiple carriers and provides the end user with a simple and effective way to log into an application.
Complicated usernames and passwords are a thing of the past with Digits, as the phone number itself provides unique identification to each individual user.
Log In with Twitter
This tool pretty much does exactly what it says on the tin. One tap access to your app via their own Twitter account provides users with a simple way to sign up and get started. Log In with Twitter also allows users to Tweet content directly from your app to their followers, growing your own network in the process.
Another cool feature is the use of the Twitter API to enable users to connect with others via the app itself. As you will have information such as Tweets, followers and engagements to hand, you can tailor each persons experience specifically for them, regardless of whether they are new or existing users of the app.
Growth is integral to success, but, in order to build, you will need to maintain the core users first and Tweet Embeds allow you to do just that. By having Twitter content right there in your own app, you are providing your users with a hatful of rich and engaging content all in real time.
As with the rest of the Fabric suite, Tweet Embeds is simple to implement. Entering a few lines of code is all it takes to enable your users to view Tweets, even when they’re not logged in to Twitter.
Fully customisable, Tweet Embeds blends seamlessly in with the rest of your apps identity – giving you up-to-the-minute content without diluting your brand.
Simply building a great app is one thing, but monetisation is vital to its survival. MoPub gives app developers and publishers a marketplace to find high quality advertisers for their applications.
Direct advertising is covered too, with high-end geo-targeting and keyword-targeting all just a few clicks away. Better still, MoPub gives you the option to serve ads from any network via third party SDKs and adaptors.
However, as the MoPub Marketplace is directly integrated into the platform, the Demand Side Platforms (DSPs) will be competing with all of your existing networks so that you are guaranteed the best price possible for the ads you serve to your end users.
Pros and Cons
Naturally, there are going to be plusses and minuses to any project that is the size of Fabric. Being able to please all of the people all of the time just isn’t feasible, so we’ve put together some of the pros and cons for you below:
5 Reasons For
- Wide range of comprehensive tools
- Easy to implement, minimal code required
- Provides simple authentication execution
- Allows optional anonymity for end users
- Free to use
5 Reasons Against
- Twitter is starting late in the race for developers loyalty
- Longevity of the suite is questionable if it fails to grab developers attention
- Google and Facebook are far more likely to be used as an authentication tool
- Some developers may be put off of embedding Twitter so deeply into their apps
- Twitter has a bad reputation with developers to date…will Fabric be any different?
Overall, Fabric looks to be a winner. Die hard developers who were burnt in the past by Twitter’s API may be reluctant to incorporate the company so deeply into their future applications but, for many, the fact that Fabric is free and easy to use will ultimately be the deal breaker.
Twitter all about Tweets? Not any more.