Twitter will reconvene Flight conference for mobile developers

23 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Twitter unveils Answers Events, enabling developers to see how users behave in real-time.

Ahead of Twitter’s upcoming developer conference Flight, Twitter’s Answers service — which provides developers with a real-time display of events happening with their apps — is getting a big update that provides developers with a more robust way to track their apps.

Twitter is launching a new version of Answers, its mobile analytics solution, which now allows developers to track specific actions and events in real-time so they’ll know how users are behaving within their app.Twitter is bringing back Flight this October, the mobile developer conference it launched last year to show off products for people who build mobile apps. Previously, it focused on a few moments, such as sign-ups, but Twitter senior director of platform Jeff Seibert said that larger, more robust apps needed more events to better track app performance. Called Answers Events, this feature can help analyze which actions are having the most impact and can be tailored to track something specific to a particular use case. Last year, Twitter used the conference to announce a new mobile developer kit called Fabric, a collection of tools to help people do things like sell ad space within an app or identify bugs in the code while beta testing.

Twitter isn’t sharing the full agenda of this year’s conference but it has a few tracks planned, including one on Twitter data use, that are different from last year. That’s been by far our number one request.” Developers can directly monitor purchases and figure out what their forward revenue projections would be. Thought leaders from the biggest brands and most disruptive companies will share winning growth strategies on the most pressing challenges marketing leaders face today.] In September, Twitter announced it was organizing a new annual conference aimed around mobile app development.

Flight’s return isn’t unexpected — a number of other tech companies like Facebook, Google and Apple host annual developer conferences, too — and it’s likely this will become an annual thing for Twitter as well. There will also be a series of technical sessions: Deep-dive sessions on Fabric and Gnip: Developers will get a deeper technical understanding of the Twitter platform, and learn how to best utilize all the services Twitter has on offer.

There are unique events that companies like Slack — which, for example, would probably be tracking messages sent — but there are a bucket of events that can apply to a wide swath of app developers. The company has put significant resources behind building and acquiring this kind of technology in the hope that the mobile apps populating your home screen integrate more closely with Twitter’s app, or at least depend on Twitter products to operate. In a gaming app, for instance, a developer may want to track how many purchased a “full” version of the game (that removes ads or unlocks goodies).

Twitter Flight will be on October 21, 2015 at San Francisco’s Bill Graham Civic Center and will include two new technical tracks, as well as an update on its data platform and API. Jeff Seibert, the man in charge of Twitter’s developer platforms business, told Re/code he’s very pleased with how things have grown since last October. That’s important for better targeting advertisements or find ways to turn players into paying customers, “We’ve picked the 12 most common [events] and built custom experiences for them,” Seibert said. “Instead of it being a random custom event, now we know you’re recording a purchase event, and we can make a custom dashboard automatically with the app developer doing no work.

The company says that developers will hear from Twitter executives and members of its product team to find out the latest in how it’s supporting the ecosystem. Answers also suggests data points developers may find useful based on the type of info that is being tracked (when in-app purchases are tracked, Answers may suggest you also create a currency event), and allows both string and numeric attributes. Take purchases for example — we present the revenue chart front and center instead of a frequency graph of each purchase.” All of this is designed to put the tracking processes into applications without needing developers to build these kinds of tools themselves. At last year’s Flight conference, Twitter unveiled Fabric, a new modular software development kit that features three SDKs to allow developers to tap into more platform services, its ad network MoPub, and its crash reporting platform Crashlytics. The update has required a whole new level of technical challenges to go with it. answers processes 6 billion sessions a day across the apps that it works with, and with more data points comes a larger problem of scale.

Twitter head of engineering Alex Roetter told TechCrunch in an earlier interview that the problems of Twitter involved a massive scale — processing millions of Tweets a second and putting the right content in front of users — and also keeping the service from crashing. Developers have always been a group Twitter has sought to woo; even though there were some tough times now and then, Twitter needs them to help shape how the company will look in the future. Twitter bought Crashlytics in January 2013, and the service quickly became one of the company’s flagship products for what would become its development kit, Fabric.

He decided to add some code that would track when the software would crash, and a week later there were more than 6,000 reports of the service crashing among a small group of beta testers. Seibert said Twitter isn’t releasing data on how many apps are using Fabric, but he said the service is on more than a billion Android and iOS device, nine months after the launch of Fabric last year. But the new updates and more robust features should make it just as competitive and move it from the number-two option to being the top tool for developers, he said.

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