Google has bought Fabric, Twitter’s application-development environment, for an undisclosed sum, as the latter company streamlines its business.
“We’ve signed an agreement for Fabric to be acquired to Google and for our team to join Google’s Developer Products Group, working with the Firebase team,” a Fabric blog post says. Firebase, a Google environment for creating mobile apps, will be combined with Fabric “to make the best mobile developer platform in the world for app teams,” according to the post.
Francis Ma, Firebase’s product manager, added in his blog post, “Our missions align closely: help developers build better apps and grow their business. . . 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.”
Twitter’s sale of Fabric follows its October closure of its Vine video-looping app and a simultaneous 9 percent cut in its workforce. Twitter is trimming its business as it faces declining revenue growth and the difficulty of attracting possible buyers, including Disney, Facebook, Google and Salesforce.
Crashlytics, on which Fabric was built, will likely become the main crash-reporting tool for Firebase, Ma said. Fabric also created other tools, including Answers, a source of real-time stats on app usage; and Fastlane, an automation product. Once the acquisition is completed, Google will provide Fabric, along with with Crashlytics and Answers, under new terms of service. Another of Twitter’s development products, phone number verification tool Digits, will continue to be maintained by Twitter.
Twitter launched Fabric in 2014 as part of trying to grow beyond the business of tweeting, and it has since been used by more than 580,000 developers, reaching 2.5 billion active mobile devices, according to the blog post. Google bought Firebase in 2014 and developed it into a popular environment.
Twitter VP of product management Jeff Seibert, who had been serving as the head of Fabric, has said via Twitter that he won’t be coming along to Google, Business Insider reported. Instead, Twitter’s Rich Paret will be taking over control of Fabric as it moves to Google.