Why Alphabet Is Focusing on Gaining Developers’ Attention

Google acquired Twitter’s Fabric mobile app platform to attract developers

In the previous part of this series, we discussed how Alphabet (GOOG) is trying to grow its Google Play business. Developers play an important role in the development of any app ecosystem. Google Play and Apple’s (AAPL) App Store are the two biggest mobile app ecosystems.

A couple of months back, Google acquired Twitter’s (TWTR) Fabric mobile app development platform. Twitter launched Fabric in 2014. The platform lets developers integrate this toolkit with their apps to get crash reporting, beta testing, and analytics information. This platform also helped developers monetize their apps.

Analyzing their apps’ performance is an important parameter for developers for monetization purposes. Twitter had combined the capabilities of Crashlytics and MoPub to form Fabric. Crashlytics was the company Twitter owned that helped developers debug and test new apps. MoPub was another company that Twitter acquired in 2013, which helped mobile developers manage their ad inventories.

Why Alphabet Is Focusing on Gaining Developers’ Attention

Google Play revenues still trail Apple’s App Store

Google plans to integrate Fabric with its Firebase platform. According to Google, developers have already built 1 million projects based on the Firebase platform. Google is clearly looking to appease its developers. It has had difficulty monetizing Google Play as much as Apple has with its App Store—despite Google’s Android dominating the smartphone operating system market with a share of in excess of 80%.

According to a report from App Annie and as the chart above shows, iOS earned revenues of $34 billion in 2016, compared to just $17 billion for Google Play. Third-party stores such as Android app ecosystem offered by Chinese technology companies Tencent (TCEHY) and Baidu (BIDU) each accounted for $10 billion in revenues in 2016.