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With ‘Fabric,’ Twitter Aims to Win Back Developers

Twitter is preparing a push to mend fences with app developers, with the hopes of embedding itself into more mobile apps and collecting deeper data on mobile users.

The company plans to unveil a new app development platform called “Twitter Fabric” that contains tools for developers to help people sign up for their apps more easily, sell ads on them, uncover technical glitches and view other analytics. Fabric would propel Twitter into deeper competition with Facebook, Amazon and Google, all of whom have taken steps to plug their systems deeper into everyday interactions on mobile devices.

If successful, the previously undisclosed project could help Twitter boost its nascent ad-network revenue stream, gain a new source of revenue, and hook more users into its own app. It also reflects Twitter’s desire to be at the center of online “identity.” Twitter and its competitors are in an arms race to collect more data about people’s activities and interests across different mobile applications, which could let them broker more expensive ads or build better products.

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The project comes three years after the company made enemies among app developers by deciding to effectively shut down third-party “client” apps that relied on Twitter’s Tweet streams. That move took many by surprise, since Twitter had previously encouraged such projects.