That's the premise of Flight, Twitter's first mobile developer conference set to take place Wednesday in San Francisco.
What's interesting here is the conference has basically nothing to do with Twitter, the product. It's all about Twitter Inc. competing with Facebook, Google and Amazon to provide the back-end support and the tools that developers need to build mobile apps. Twitter thinks if it can do that, the relationships with developers will pay off down the road.
There are over a million apps around the world that need technical support to stay up and running, and part of Twitter's long-term business strategy (in addition to Twitter, the product) is to provide developers with the tools needed to make money their apps and keep them from crashing.
Twitter, for example, owns MoPub, a service for mobile developers that helps them fill vacant ad space within their apps. It has little to do with Twitter's main stream but has a lot to do with Twitter's revenues.
The social network has been stocking up on developer-specific tools over the past 18 months, snagging startups like Crashlytics, which helps developers debug and test new apps. Twitter is poised to unveil new tools for developers on Wednesday as part of its push to get more third party apps using these Twitter-owned products and services.
If app developers use Crashlytics to test and debug their app, they're more likely to use MoPub to advertise on it, and vice versa. And someday, when Twitter rolls out premium, more expensive versions of these tools, existing customers will be more likely to upgrade.