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Twitter sets its platform ambitions high with new 'Flight' conference

Twitter sets its platform ambitions high with new 'Flight' conference

The event will help outside developers build apps using Twitter tools

Landing page for Twitter's Flight mobile developer conference, pictured Sept. 10, 2014.

Landing page for Twitter's Flight mobile developer conference, pictured Sept. 10, 2014.

Twitter wants to help more mobile developers build apps so it will show them how during its first-ever mobile developer conference, called "Flight."

The one-day event will be Oct. 22 in San Francisco, where developers will "hear the latest on how Twitter can help you build the best mobile apps," the company said Wednesday.

Flight will be a gathering built by developers, for developers, Twitter said. It's not Twitter's first developer conference -- in 2010 the company held an event called Chirp -- but it is the first focused on mobile.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo will deliver the opening keynote, to be followed by a number of technical sessions.

The event comes as Twitter tries to grow its service as a platform, similar to rival Facebook, for letting developers build apps that integrate with Twitter. More apps built on Twitter's system, the thinking goes, could help it attract more end users and advertisers. It's unlikely that new consumer products will be announced at the show, though it could later give rise to new Twitter services or apps.

The company already provides an API for developers, as well as a way for publishers to embed rich media into tweets, but Twitter ostensibly is looking to do more in this area.

Developer tools may come courtesy of some mobile acquisitions. Last year Twitter acquired Crashlytics, a mobile app crash analyzer, as well as MoPub, a mobile-focused advertising exchange.

The event is invitation only. Developers can fill out an online application to attend. One question on the application asks for links to apps the developer has built for Apple's App Store or Google Play. The registration fee is US$140.

Twitter also rolled out its revamped developer site, dev.twitter.com.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

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