Twitter sells its developer platform Fabric to Google

Twitter's acquisition talks went nowhere last year, but the company is slimming down by selling its developer platform.
Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Writer

Google is acquiring Twitter's mobile developer platform, Fabric.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed on Wednesday, but the move should help Twitter develop a leaner business as it tries to find more longterm stability. The micro-blogging platform has had some rough months, undergoing a leadership shuffle and failed acquisition talks. Some have suggested Google would be well-suited buyer for Twitter -- now Google will take just its developer platform.

The Fabric team will join Google's Developer Products Group and merge with its Firebase team. "Fabric and Firebase operate mobile platforms with unique strengths in the market today," wrote Rich Paret, VP of engineering and GM of Fabric, in a blog post.

Firebase product manager Francis Ma noted that the acquisition is part of Firebase's larger, longterm efforts to build up its comprehensive suite features for web and mobile app development.

Fabric, launched in 2014, was part of Twitter's efforts to woo developers and now reaches 2.5 billion active mobile devices and serves more than 580,000 mobile developers. Fabric's Crashlytics and Answers kits are among the most-used SDKs for app stability and analytics.

"As a popular, trusted tool over many years, we expect that Crashlytics will become the main crash reporting offering for Firebase and will augment the work that we have already done in this area," Ma wrote.

Current Fabric users don't have to do anything to keep using the products. Before the acquisition closes, Twitter will continue to maintain Digits, Fabric's SMS authentication service. Once it's complete, Google will begin providing Fabric, Crashlytics, Answers, and associated beta products under terms available here.

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