Twitter Promising Devs A Better Future
Written by Lucy Black   
Monday, 26 October 2015

At last week's Flight conference Twitter co-founder and its newly restored CEO, Jack Dorsey, issued an apology to developers in an attempt to "reboot" the company's relationship with us.

dorseyatflight

 

Dorsey himself has had a chequered career with Twitter, having been fired from the position of CEO in 2008. He returned to Twitter as Executive Chairman in 2011 and became its Interim CEO following the resignation and departure of Dick Costelo in July 2015. Earlier this month his position as CEO on a permanent basis was confirmed and now it seems he wants to make amends for the way in which Twitter has alienated developers and to try to establish a better relationship for the future

Addressing the developer audience Dorsey said: 

“Somewhere along the line, our relationship with Developers got a little complicated. A little bit confusing. A little bit unpredictable.”

If you want to know the history, see Twitter tells developers: stop building apps! for the most damaging episode that dates back to March 2011 when it restricted access to its API. 

Trying to put distance between then and now Prashant Sridharan, Developer Relations for Twitter commented

“Twitter was a very different company at that time. It was a different time in the internet, different time in the mobile landscape, and the dawn of mobile apps.”

also pointing out that most of Twitter's current personnel haven't been with the company long enough to have first hand experience of it.  

Even so there have been recent reverberations concerning the API which now has reached its final demise, see Twitter Switches Off JSON API - No More Tweet Counts

Another recent development is that Twitter has laid off 8 percent of its workforce - 336 employees - and so is going to be more reliant on third party developers if it is to grow and prosper and reverse its recent lacklustre performance.

Later in his keynote speech Dorsey stated:

We need to make sure we’re serving all of our developers in the best way because that’s what’s going to make Twitter great. We need to listen, we need to learn and we need to have this conversation with you. We want to start that today.

Apart from promises Twitter added eight new SDKs to Fabric, its toolset for building apps. 

fabric

All from established providers rather than built in-house the additions are:

  • Stripe: Payment infrastructure for apps

  • AWS: Amazon Web Services, a cloud platform for data storage, networking and database management

  • Optimizely: A/B testing for apps

  • Nuance: Dictation service from makers of Dragon

  • Appsee: Analytics platform for understanding how users actually use your app

  • GameAnalytics: An analytics toolset focussed on mobile games

  • Mapbox: Customizable mapping, location and direction service

  • PubNub: A data streaming network that helps developers build apps and scale globally

Whether having additional SDKs and Doresey's commitment to listen is going to be enough to build a new and productive relationship with developers only time will tell. 

 

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Last Updated ( Monday, 26 October 2015 )