Mobile APIs That Rocked in 2014: Twitter Crashlytics, Digits & MoPub

Twitter is in the big leagues, as far as APIs are concerned, and its gotten its second wind with Fabric Suite, announced at the Flight Developer’s conference earlier this year. This year Twitter also ramped up its login mechanism, as part of Fabric Suite, which bore the fruit from last year's acquisition of Crashlytics.


Crashlytics, acquired in 2013, forms the bulk of the Fabric suite. Crashlytics' crash-reporting framework is all at once simple and sophisticated, monitoring app releases on iOS as well as a few other utilities that integrate well with that particular tool. Beta Distribution provides a yet-another convenient distribution tool for testers, while the Answers tool tracks distribution, crashes and general use for greater app insight. Twitter plans to add to the suite of utilities, although the company has not released much in the way of a roadmap.



The final piece in Twitter’s 2014 push to match Facebook’s mobile initiatives is TwitterKit, which provides a revamped sign-in API that is much simpler to implement, as well as an easier hook to access associated feeds and followers. Digits is Twitter’s answer to Facebook’s Anonymous login project, but with a creative twist: It allows users to maintain their anonymity, by signing up as well as signing on, using their phone numbers. You don’t need to provide your email address or Twitter credentials to login; this allows developers to provide a more digestible barrier to accessing an app. Anonymous users can be linked to Twitter accounts at a later stage, when users would presumably be more comfortable with "opening up." In the new year we will be looking for tweaks to TwitterKit, as well as some significant documentation (currently absent) early next year. API-wise, we expect to see some of the more complicated SDK methods gradually making their way into TwitterKit, with a more straightforward implementation.


Twitter’s final offering of 2014, MoPub, is the company’s counter to Facebook’s Audience Network. Twitter’s mobile monetization tool was just re-badged this year and added as part of the Fabric bundle. The immediate goal was to allow developers to gain access to MoPub automatically, as part of the suite. Not a lot has changed since the acquisition of MoPub last year, which is why we are expecting Twitter to focus more on evolving the features in this tool. For example, we expect to see a more sophisticated advertising authoring tool, as well as native advertising controls, allowing developers to dictate frequency and position of mobile ads. While this is already available in beta for developers, we expect Twitter to experiment more as it fine-tunes its ad controls.

Doron Katz A keen passion for emerging technologies, practices and methodologies, Doron embraces the vision of lean development with continuous customer development. Consultant for various startups, as a Project and Product Manager, with a mobile engineering background in iOS, and over 10 years of professional web development experience.




I wasn't overly impressed by MoPub this year in their little deal with Twitter. Twitter should have gone after Airpush or another ad network that has a little more of a pronounced history of ingeniuty and effectiveness. One day, Yahoo or Facebook will probably make a play for them and further bury Twitter/MoPub.