Some Thoughts About Google’s Acquisition of Twitter Mobile Fabric
A few days ago, Twitter announced that it was selling its Mobile Fabric business to Google. The sale represents another step in Twitter’s efforts to focus its technology efforts as the social media giant struggles with its perception in public markets. The acquisition of Twitter Mobile Fabric gives Google another relevant asset in its portfolio of mobile technologies. Beyond the obvious headlines, the transaction has some interesting implications for Google, Twitter and the mobile technology ecosystem in general. Here is a summary of some points in my initial analysis of the acquisition:
1 — Diane Green Continues Making Smart Acquisitions
Apigee, API.ai and now Twitter Mobile Fabric. Diane Greene’s group continues to excel at making incredibly smart acquisitions that complement the feature set of Google Cloud.
2 — Twitter Mobile Fabric Has Found a Better Home at Google
From the mobile developer standpoint, Mobile Fabric is likely to see a higher adoption and focus as part of Google Cloud. Despite the impressive numbers in terms of developer adoption, Mobile Fabric was never strong priority for rTwitter.
3 — Twitter’s Developer Story Remains Sketchy
The sale of Mobile Fabric indirectly entail that its roughly 600,000 developers are moving away from the twitter ecosystem onto the Google Cloud platform. That number represents an important percentage of Twitter’s developer base. The acquisition is another example of Twitter’s continued struggles trying to deliver a comprehensive message to developers.
4 — Firebase Just Got More interesting
Twitter Mobile fabric is very likely to be integrated in Googel’s Firebase platform adding strong analytics and user engagement capabilities to the already popular developer stack.
5 — The Sale is Immaterial for Twitter’s Stock Performance
The sale of Mobile Fabric is unlikely to ghave an impact on Twitter’s stock price or investor sentiment. At best, investors can praise Twitter’s focus on streamlining its prioties and perceive the transaction as an effort to avoid unnecessary distractions.
6 — Google Cloud can go Head-To-Head with AWS as the Most Popular Mobile Backend Platform in the Market
600,000 new developers, a robust mobile analytics suite and a robust developer tools and frameworks are welcomed additions that Twitter Mobile Fabric brings to Google Cloud mobile developer services. The combination of firebase, Apigee, Mobile Fabric as well as previous acquisitions such as Appurify positions Google Cloud as a strong second place in the mobile cloud platform market trailing AWS Mobile hub but ahead of Azure Mobile Apps and Bluemix.
7 — Google Cloud Desperately Needs an Integrated Mobile Developer Experience
At the moment, Google cloud mobile developer experience is a set of disjointed (altough popular) frameworks and services. A more integrated experience would certainly be welcomed by mobile developers.
8 — Mobile cloud Service Startups Continue to Be a M&A Target
Despite the decline of mobile developer technologies from a VC investment, the acquisition of Twitter Mobile Fabric shows that mobile backed services startups with large developer communities continue to be a strong M&A target for PaaS incumbents such as Amazon, Google, Microsoft or IBM.