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I'll have Fabric, Crashlytics... Google crams Twitter mobile dev tools in trolley

Keep yr Digits for now, fam ... we're good

Google, photo by lightpoet via Shutterstock
Photo by Lightpoet via Shutterstock

Google is set to acquire Twitter's mobile app development platform, Fabric, and assimilate its team within its own development platform, Firebase.

The terms of the acquisition have not been revealed, but the Fabric team will join Google's Developer Products Group, working with Google's Firebase team which also offers a mobile and online app development platform.

Fabric was launched by Crashlytics back in 2014, a year after that company had itself been acquired by Twitter. The chirpy folk had shelled out just over $38m in common stock to acquire Crashlytics, plus stock options which valued the deal at over $100m.

At the time, Fabric was touted as a modular SDK which would allow developers to select from a suite of specific tools to improve their apps, and is now reported to serve roughly 580,000 developers' apps reaching roughly 2.5 billion users.

Now, as Twitter seems to be paring itself down ahead of a sale, much of that suite is heading to the Chocolate Factory. The Fabric platform itself is on its way to Mountainview, as well as the Crashlytics crash reporting system, the Answers mobile app analytics, the Digits SMS login system, and the FastLane development automation system.

Fabric's GM, Rich Paret, who is also the veep of engineering, announced that the company has "signed an agreement for Fabric to be acquired by Google."

"We'll share further details in the coming weeks after we close the deal," wrote Francis Ma, Firebase product manager, "as we work closely together with the Fabric team to determine the most efficient ways to further combine our strengths. During the transition period, Digits, the SMS authentication services, will be maintained by Twitter."

The value of the SMS authentication service has been widely criticised by security folk who much prefer Google's Authenticator app. It is likely to be retired at some point by the Firebase team.

Ma concluded: "The integration of Fabric is part of our larger, long-term effort of delivering a comprehensive suite of features for iOS, Android and mobile Web app development." ®


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