SAN FRANCISCO — Twitter has just wrapped up its keynote event at its second annual Flight developer conference. There was quite a lot of ground covered, starting with a quick note from new chief executive Jack Dorsey, who reached out to developers as he set the tone for Twitter’s new direction.
Approximately 1,000 developers and Twitter enthusiasts attended the event, which was held in San Francisco’s Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. The day has only just begun, but for those of you not in attendance, here’s a recap of all the things that were announced at Flight:
In his first major appearance as CEO, Dorsey made it a point to establish his vision for the company and talk about how developers fit into that vision. He acknowledged that the relationship between Twitter and developers hasn’t been exactly warm and inviting. For that, he apologized, asking that the relationship be “reset” and inviting developers to share feedback to make Twitter better as it moves forward.
Game developers who are interested in leveraging tweets will be happy to know that Twitter Fabric now supports the Unity platform. Now you can incorporate the features from Crashlytics, Twitter Kit, and MoPub right into your mobile game application.
Crashlytics, known for helping developers track the performance of their applications, has released several improvements to help make applications run better. Currently, the service is installed on over 1.3 billion monthly active Android devices. Starting today, developers can take advantage of iOS error locking in private beta, as well as tvOS support for Apple’s television devices.
Tired of dealing with passwords? Twitter wants companies to look at Digits as a solution to that problem, instead of requiring customers to use their phone number. Today, this service has been enhanced to verify logins by email address. No details about how many applications are really using Digits, but Twitter claimed that developers saw an onboarding success rate of 85 percent from those using the service.
Native advertising has always been an option through Twitter’s MoPub platform, but now developers can test out native video ads, which will work in a manner similar to the display ads that were announced at last year’s Flight conference.
Twitter has expanded the capability of Twitter Kit so developers can show users previews of tweets composed in their apps. Tweets sent through this composer offering will feature an “install” button, which could certainly help improve install rates. To further appeal to businesses, Twitter has launched a pilot program called App Spotlight that connects the traditional online strategy of profile pages with the mobile space. Brands can have an “install” call-to-action button on their Twitter profile page.
For the first time since its introduction at last year’s Flight conference, Fabric is opening up to new partners. Twitter announced that three new SDKs will become available today: Stripe, Amazon Web Services, and Optimizely. Others will be available by the end of the year.
On top of these announcements, Twitter has acquired continuous deployment service Fastlane, bringing in its founder Felix Krause to help on Fabric. In honor of this news, Fastlane will remain open-sourced. Fastlane had announcements of its own: it’s now available as version 1.0; it has launched a new testing app called Scan; and it will now support Android projects.
Twitter has released its Twitter Publish service into general availability, giving media companies a better way of compiling tweets and making a more aesthetically pleasing display. This service includes a “What You See Is What You Get” (WYSIWYG) editor and an embedded grid so you can build a collage of images around tweets. The best thing is that you can embed these tweets onto other platforms — more than 1 billion unique visitors come to the service via embedded tweets.
Two new APIs are now available through Twitter’s Gnip service: Audience API and Engagement API. While they remain in beta, the company will be looking to see what developers can do with them. Both APIs can be used to help provide information about reach and impressions on tweets. For example, the Audience API will tell you information about your audience based on their gender, language, interests, favorite TV genre, etc., while the Engagement API looks at interactions with organic content.
And that’s not all that’s coming to Gnip. Twitter has partnered with the Techstars accelerator to provide free access to Gnip’s data sources.