Welcome to Flight 2015

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Our annual developer conference, Flight 2015 (@Flight), is now underway, helping developers learn more about using the Twitter platform to build the best apps and businesses. Over the years, our platform has evolved to offer an array of indispensable services for mobile apps and data-driven businesses.

At Flight, developers from around the world heard Twitter Co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey and key technical and business leaders demonstrate how Twitter could help them:

The Twitter platform consists of three products you can use to build a great business:

  • Fabric, developer tools to build the best mobile apps
  • Embedded Tweets, which lets you bring the worldwide conversation into your apps and sites
  • Gnip, an enterprise API platform for businesses to unleash the power of social data

Flight highlights

Introducing eight new services on Fabric

When we launched Fabric last October, we offered tools for mobile developers that could tackle challenges such as stability, distribution, revenue, and identity. We’ve been blown away by the positive response from the community to these tools, and have seen a number of other key needs within mobile development: scaling infrastructure, integrating payments, and running A/B tests, among others.

So today, we’re incredibly excited to introduce eight new partners making their services available through Fabric: Stripe, AWS, Optimizely, Nuance, Appsee, GameAnalytics, Mapbox, and PubNub.

With these new partners, we’ve made it even easier for you to build the best apps with Fabric.

From Fabric Labs: announcing Unity support and error logging on iOS

Through Fabric Labs, we’re always pushing the boundaries and tinkering with new ideas. Today, we were excited to tell you that we’ve been building out two new tools: support for Unity, one of the most popular game development engines, and the ability to log errors on iOS.

We’ve heard that the onboarding process for Unity-based projects has traditionally been cumbersome. In contrast, our beta support for Unity aims to give you a completely streamlined onboarding experience. Fabric support for Unity includes Crashlytics, Twitter Kit, and MoPub.

Further, we’ve been building out the ability to log errors for iOS apps. Now you can track NSErrors that you care about and see how to best improve the experience for your users when your app isn’t crashing.

Read more on the Crashlytics blog.

Thousands of apps use Fabric today, including the official NBA app and many dedicated NBA team apps:

Launching Answers Audience Insights

Over the past few months, we’ve been tackling another problem within mobile analytics: many developers don’t have any visibility into “who” is using their apps: what are the demographics of the user base? What is their audience interested in? The answers are key to driving product and marketing decisions.

Audience Insights is the benefit of a new integration between Answers and Twitter. With Audience Insights, you’ll be able to quickly gather trends and information about who is using your app. If you’re doing marketing or looking for the most effective features you can build, Audience Insights offers the intelligent data you need to understand your users.

Learn more about Audience Insights.

Bringing fastlane to Fabric

When we built Fabric, our goal was to give you the best-in-class tools you need to build the best apps. Today we’re thrilled to announce that fastlane is now part of Fabric. fastlane is the most popular iOS app continuous deployment and integration tool, and has quickly become an indispensable asset to mobile developers everywhere.

Created by Felix Krause, fastlane gives you a set of open-source command-line tools to unify and automate your entire app deployment process, saving you hours of time! Now used by thousands of developers, we are excited to have this tool that we respect and admire as part of the Fabric toolset.

Learn more about fastlane.

Making sharing from apps easier

People love to share the things they do in their apps. Whether it’s music they’ve found, a high score in the latest game, a fitness goal, or another expression of personal achievement or discovery, these moments become powerful when people share them to Twitter. In turn, sharing drives discovery and growth from that person’s followers. Today we announced two new features that make sharing easy for people and more effective for app developers:

The new Tweet composer in TwitterKit enables people to preview what a Tweet will look like when shared from an app. They can be confident that the app will represent them as they’d like, which consequently encourages more sharing.
Using the new Tweet composer, Developers can attach an install button to any Tweet shared. In the Twitter app, the Tweet will render in the Timeline with an “Install” button. Using this new composer, it’s no longer to post a web page with markup in order to render an install action.

Together, these two features encourage more sharing, which will lead to more frequent discovery of your app.

The best game publishers in the world see the value of Twitter for organic app growth:

Introducing publisher workflow, embedded grid, and syndication for Twitter Kit

People use Tweets to tell amazing stories every day. Whether it’s an athlete trash-talking before a game, a celebrity promoting their new movie, citizens sounding off about the issues of the day, or any of the countless interactions that happen only on Twitter, Tweets often become news. Five years ago, we pioneered the concept of embedding social content to help better tell stories. Today, embedded Tweets are a core part of any media company’s repertoire.

Today at Flight, we announced an ecosystem of new tools to help you find, organize and publish stories through Tweets on your mobile apps and websites. Now you can easily turn unique Twitter content into compelling stories that attract, engage, and retain your audience — completely for free. We also know that you need a powerful visual storytelling tool to truly engage your users, so we’ve built an embedded grid which displays your curated content in a rich, responsive, media-forward format.

Learn more about these new tools.
Media companies all over the world use embedded Tweets to help them tell stories, including CBS News.

Harnessing the power of social data
What’s possible when you know what the whole world is thinking about any topic at any time? This is the question you can ask when you’re analyzing real-time and historical Twitter data. Twitter has a range of APIs to help you make sense of the world as it happens on Twitter. From our freely available APIs that make it easy to get started to our robust suite of enterprise APIs provided through Gnip, Twitter powers an entire ecosystem of software solutions that are used by some of the biggest brands to inform their businesses.

Learn how Target uses Twitter data to inform their product, marketing, and business decisions.

Today we announced two new APIs from Gnip that provide access to deep insights about audiences and content on Twitter:

  • Audience API Beta
  • Engagement API Beta

These APIs enable new enterprise solutions that help businesses make better decisions using the worldwide conversation as it happens on Twitter.

Twitter for customer service
We also know that Twitter is a hub of customer service activity. Every day, people connect directly with airlines, mobile carriers, retailers, app developers and others to get help. We know that:

  • According to Social Bakers, 80% of customer service requests on social happen on Twitter
  • Our research shows that over the last two years, there has been a 2.5X increase in Tweets to business customer service accounts
  • According to a McKinsey and Nielsen study, the cost per resolution via Twitter is 1/6th that of call center resolutions

Today at Flight we’ve shown how the flexibility of Fabric, the power of social data, and integrations with customer service software can help businesses provide delightful and exceptional customer service on Twitter.

A powerful example of this is Hilton. Its worldwide network of hotel brands uses Twitter to provide amazing customer service experiences to all of its guests.

Summary of announcements
To recap, we have announced over 20 new features and updates across product areas including:

  • Fabric
    • New best-in-class services available through Fabric We’ve opened Fabric up to leading platform vendors so that developers can add new functionality to their app with only a few clicks.
    • Answers Audience Insightsenables developers to access aggregate insights based on demographics and interests of people who’re using their apps.
    • fastlane,the most popular iOS app deployment tool — now also available on Android — joins the Fabric developer toolset.
    • Tweet composer for apps which gives people a preview of the photo they’re sharing, and app developers the ability to attach install cards without having to host a website.
    • Twitter Timeline install actions that attach an “Install” or “Open” button to a Tweet when it’s shared from an app.
    • Twitter App Spotlight, a new pilot program for your business’s Twitter profile page that adds a call-to-action to enable people to download your app directly from the Google Play or Apple App store.
    • Regression Detection gives developers a view of bugs across multiple versions of the same app so that they can identify and prevent regression errors.
    • Crashlytics logged errors for iOS (private beta) enables developers to log exceptions and other non-fatal events so that they can see all quality issues with their app in the convenient Crashlytics dashboard.
    • Crashlytics for tvOS (private beta). The power of Crashlytics, now available for tvOS for Apple’s forthcoming Apple TV product.
    • Unity support (private beta) provides game developers using Unity all the benefits of Crashlytics, Twitter Kit, and MoPub.
    • Digits verified email. Developers who prefer user verification via email can now request that users provide an email via Digits — all without the expensive, complex infrastructure to support this kind of service.
    • MoPub Native Video Ads (private beta) offer developers the impressive revenue opportunity of video ads with the seamless user experience of native display ads with access to 170+ buyers on MoPub Marketplace and support for direct ad partners.
    • Twitter Audience Platform enables advertisers extend their mobile app promotion campaigns to run on Twitter and thousands of popular mobile apps, reaching a potential global audience of over 700 million people.

Embedded Tweets


If you weren’t able to attend Flight this year, you’ll be able to replay the event in its entirety and grab all the slides from twitterflight.com early next week. Stay tuned!