Twitter on late Monday afternoon acquired Crashlytics, a Cambridge, Mass.-based startup that develops a crash-reporting tool to help its clients resolve problems with their mobile applications. Crashlytics has worked on several prominent iOS apps such as Yelp, Kayak, TaskRabbit, Walmart, Groupon, Waze and Twitter’s own Vine service.
Like the introduction of Twitter's new video service Vine, the acquisition of Crashlytics is a sign of Twitter’s renewed focus on a “mobile-first” strategy. But what’s more interesting about the news, as TechCrunch notes, is that the company won’t be relocating to Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco.
“With today’s announcement, much will remain the same,” Jeff Seibert, Crashlytics chief executive officer and co-founder, and Wayne Chang, fellow co-founder and chairman, said in a statement announcing the acquisition. “Development of Crashlytics will continue unabated and we remain dedicated to working with all of our customers – current and new, big and small – to deliver the key app performance insights they need.”
In its statement, Crashlytics was relatively vague about how, exactly, its relationship with their other clients would change now that it was part of Twitter. But compared to its buyouts of other tech startups like Mixer Labs and Posterous -- acquisitions that essentially dissolved the smaller company, absorbing its developer talent into Twitter the process -- Twitter seems to be giving Crashlytics more breathing room.
This could represent a shift away from Twitter's previous strategy of acqui-hiring attractive startups or potential rivals. Allowing Crashlytics to remain relatively autonomous instead mirrors Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG) pattern of acquiring prominent brands like YouTube and Android but keeping them as independent divisions within the larger company.
“Going forward, we’re thrilled to work with the incredible team at Twitter,” Seibert and Chang added, making it clear that improvement of Twitter’s mobile services was on everybody’s mind throughout the acquisition.
“We share a passion for innovating on mobile and building world-class applications,” they concluded. “Joining forces will accelerate our build-out, allowing us to leverage Twitter’s infrastructure to deliver new features faster than ever.”
Along with the introduction of its new Vine video service last week, Twitter also retooled its embedded tweets feature earlier this month, making it easier for third-party websites to display the social network’s content. The rapid pace at which the social media startup has been rolling out ambitious new features and mergers will no doubt only fuel more rumors about its highly anticipated initial public offering looming somewhere in the not-too-distant future.