- Google has acquired a number of Twitter’s tech properties, including the Fabric mobile app developer platform, Crashlytics crash reporting system, Answers mobile app analytics, Digits SMS login system and FastLane development automation system, according to Fabric's blog.
- Fabric is the centerpiece of the deal. It was launched in 2014 as a modular SDK and works with apps reaching up to 2.5 billion users built by 580,000 developers, according to reporting by TechCrunch. Google will absorb the entire Fabric team into its Developer Products Group, where they will work with the Firebase arm.
- Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed but Google is assuming control and costs of the technology while taking it off Twitter’s balance sheet. Twitter has had a rocky past with developers based on previous moves such as restricting API access out of the blue in 2012.
Overall, it looks like Google was able to take advantage of Twitter in "fire sale" mode to acquire some core technologies, especially in the mobile and app development spaces, which are increasingly essential to Google's business model as consumers become mobile-first. Fabric's reach and developer connections, in particular, are significant, reaching billions. Google has long been accommodating to developers, who can easily be turned into customers given the company's robust back-end technologies and free tools and products, as TechCrunch notes.
Crashlytics also has connections to major foreign entities, including Alibaba and Baidu, the latter of which is essentially the Chinese Google. Acquiring Crashlytics brings Firebase’s main crash reporting tool into the fold as well. TechCrunch reported that Twitter bought Crashlytics in 2013 for around $38 million in common stock.
Twitter, for its part, is now shedding a significant swath of features that are not essential to running its core platform, possibly in a bid to become more appealing for an acquisition, TechCrunch speculates. The company is killing off its Dashboard app in early February and will drop much of its social commerce functions and also lead generation campaigns for marketers around the same time.