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Developers of Twitter


Twitter is recognized for having one of the most open and powerful developer APIs of any major technology company. Developer interest in Twitter began immediately following its launch, prompting the company to release the first version of its public API in September 2006. The API quickly became iconic as a reference implementation for public REST APIs and is widely cited in programming tutorials.

From 2006 until 2010, Twitter's developer platform experienced strong growth and a highly favorable reputation. Developers built upon the public API to create the first Twitter mobile phone clients as well as the first URL shortener. Between 2010 and 2012, however, Twitter made a number of decisions that were received unfavorably by the developer community. In 2010, Twitter mandated that all developers adopt OAuth authentication with just 9 weeks of notice. Later that year, Twitter launched its own URL shortener, in direct competition with some of its most well-known 3rd-party developers. And in 2012, Twitter introduced strict usage limits for its API, "completely crippling" some developers. While these moves successfully increased the stability and security of the service, they were broadly perceived as hostile to developers, causing them to lose trust in the platform.

In an effort to reset its relationship with developers, Twitter acquired Crashlytics on January 28, 2013 for over US$100 million, its largest acquisition to date. Founded by Jeff Seibert and Wayne Chang, Crashlytics had rapidly gained popularity as a tool to help mobile developers identify and fix bugs in their apps. Twitter committed to continue supporting and expanding the service.

In October 2014, Twitter announced Fabric, a suite of mobile developer tools built around Crashlytics. Fabric brought together Crashlytics, Answers (mobile app analytics), Beta (mobile app distribution), Digits (mobile app identity and authentication services), MoPub, and TwitterKit (login with Twitter and Tweet display functionality) into a single, modular SDK, allowing developers to pick and choose which features they needed while guaranteeing ease of installation and compatibility. By building Fabric on top of Crashlytics, Twitter was able to take advantage of Crashlytics' large adoption and device footprint to rapidly scale usage of MoPub and TwitterKit. Fabric reached active distribution across 1 billion mobile devices just 8 months after its launch.

In early 2016, Twitter announced that Fabric was installed on more than 2 billion active devices and used by more than 225,000 developers. Fabric is recognized as the #1 most popular crash reporting and also the #1 mobile analytics solution among the top 200 iOS apps, beating out Google Analytics, Flurry, and MixPanel.