SAN FRANCISCO — In 2014, Twitter introduced the world to Fabric, a mobile developer platform for incorporating Twitter feeds and crash tracking into any application. It’s an all-in-one suite of tools that sought to bring the best of Twitter to developers. Now this offering is expanding to include services provided by Stripe, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Optimizely, which will all be available starting today.
Beyond these three partners, Twitter says that Nuance, Appsee, GameAnalytics, Mapbox, and PubNub will be added in the future. This is the first time that Fabric has opened up to services outside of Twitter’s internal ecosystem.
In addition, the continuous deployment and integration tool Fastlane has been integrated into Fabric, with its founder Felix Krause joining Twitter as an employee working on Fabric. Fastlane will continue to be open sourced and to provide users with a way to streamline the work needed to get their app published.
At Twitter’s mobile developer conference Flight, Jeff Seibert, the company’s senior director of product, took the stage to talk about the developer updates. “There’s no doubt that native mobile apps deliver superior performance and that people everywhere prefer this experience,” he said. Apps, content, and data, he added, are the building blocks of a company: “These are where we invested our energy in the past year.”
Since its debut, Fabric primarily offered just internal Twitter tools like MoPub and Crashlytics. At launch, then-CEO Dick Costolo said, “It’s a future that is built on a collection of fully integrated end-to-end services. It is entirely about you and your users, not us.” More than 225,000 developers use Fabric today, and over 1 billion devices are using Fabric-powered apps.
Today’s announcements seems to indicate that instead of forcing users to sign up for Twitter, Fabric is going to take a subtle backseat approach: help developers build better and faster apps, and when they want to include a conversation service filled with data and real-time discussions, then go for the biggest one out there, Twitter.
Some of the use cases include being able to run A/B testing with a single-click through Optimizely. That company’s senior product manager Suneet Shah explains that mobile developers can install and set up Optimizely right in their app without having to leave their development environment. Through Fabric, an Optimizely account will automatically be created, allowing developers to begin running experiments “in minutes.”
It’s notable that Stripe is included with Fabric following the release of Relay, for which Twitter is one of the first commerce partners. So since Stripe is a partner, this could be the commercial feature developers are looking for. Stripe CEO Patrick Collison joined the conference to say that both Twitter and Stripe understand the power of the developer. “We see a canonical platform for building applications. It provides the canonicalization and simplicity of building applications,” he said.
Fastlane’s inclusion in the mix gives developers a powerful tool within Fabric that automates the release process. While other third-party integrations provide wanted features, one thing that’s possibly missing is accommodating the need to integrate quickly: The slower you are out of the gate, the greater the risk compared to the amount of reward you’d get. Fastlane aims to expedite the process and help you save precious time by automating steps.
To mark Krause’s arrival at Twitter, Fastlane has made several announcements: All of its tools are now available in 1.0 release, it has released a new service called Scan that runs tests against iOS and Mac apps, and Fastlane will now support Android projects.
These new features will be available in the next few weeks.