What is Twitter Fabric and how will it affect marketers?

Twitter has traditionally had a strained relationship with external developers, but now the company has launched new tools that brings tweets into third-party apps. That could make marketers' lives easier, writes Itay Godot, vice president of sales and marketing at dmg.

Twitter: trying to lure more developers with Fabric
Twitter: trying to lure more developers with Fabric

The launch of Fabric is a big moment for Twitter and its relationship with the developer community. Fabric offers three components: MoPub, an ad service for mobile; Crashlytics, a tool that will help developers test new apps; and Twitterkit, a tool that will allow apps to integrate with Twitter’s real-time information.

MoPub combined with Twitterkit is a very interesting development for marketers, since they add extra dimensions to Twitter’s offering.

Better mobile ads

Mobile advertising is crying out for more innovation and with 78% of Twitter's users accessing the service from mobile, compared to 30% of Facebook users, Fabric should be an excellent proving ground for developing ad tech.

Add to this the versatility of the content that Twitter users generate, which is generally more informative for marketers than Facebook 'likes', and Fabric potentially presents a great source of data for advertisers.  If developers can leverage Twitter’s wealth of information, that allows ad campaigns to become more targeted and more effective.

Cross-channel ads

Like Facebook’s Atlas, which uses profile information instead of cookies to aid the targeting of marketing campaigns, Fabric should aid cross-channel advertising campaigns. It’s no secret that since users began consuming content from multiple devices, it has been harder and harder to build consistent online marketing campaigns.

Developers on Fabric will likely turn their attention to creating cross-channel tracking tools that use the fact that people often log into the same Twitter profile on all their devices. The creation of any tool that reduces the industry’s reliance on cookies should be welcomed.

Video ads

However, as with Atlas, it is difficult to see how Fabric will help solve one of the biggest challenges of online marketing – effective targeting on video content. Twitter’s Vine platform has not yet proven how it will become an attractive new channel for brands and even if some developers eventually look at creating tools for marketers on Vine, it is hard to see how these tools will apply to the wider video space.  

Of course, it is early days. It will be several months before we know the full potential of MoPub and Twitterkit. Brands and marketers will keenly await what developers come up with and I would imagine we will see a glut of new advertising campaigns running on Twitter in the first half of next year. For consumers, Fabric should mean the quality of the ads they get served is much higher. Facebook has already made a big play to up the quality and targeting of ads with Atlas.  

It should also go a long way to repairing Twitter's relationship with the developer community. From Twitter's perspective it is essential to attract developers back to the platform as ad revenue is arguably still well below par.


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