The company will focus on smaller regional events instead.
Twitter will forgo its annual mobile developer conference, Flight, this year.
If you’re a developer who works with Twitter, or if you like to keep tabs on a calendar, you’ve likely already figured this out. Flight took place in San Francisco the past two Octobers, and the company hasn’t made a peep about this year’s event.
It turns out that’s because this year’s event is not happening. Sources say that the conference was planned, at least tentatively, but then abandoned. Company spokesperson Will Stickney confirmed Flight isn’t happening, and said Twitter plans to focus on smaller developer events instead. Here’s a statement:
We heard feedback after last year’s Flight conference that small, more intimate events are where our developer community are seeing the most value. So instead of holding a single developer conference in San Francisco, we are hosting a series of regional developer events, continuing the momentum from our global #HelloWorld. Given the diversity of things developers are building with Twitter (from MoPub, to the Ads API, to Gnip, Fabric, and more) having more local events will enable us to engage with our community in a much more personal way.
Canceling Flight — or rather, never scheduling it — is notable given how important these kinds of developers conferences are to other big tech companies like Facebook, Apple and Google.
They are usually as much a show for the media and investors as they are for developers, an excuse to show off tools and features the company is building. Apple announced a new watch at its developer conference this fall. Facebook launched a messaging bot platform at its event in April, and Google used its conference to talk about its virtual reality plans.
Flight has been a stage for Twitter in the past, too, though on a smaller scale. Two years ago Twitter used Flight to announce its full developer suite, Fabric. Last year, CEO Jack Dorsey used the event to apologize to developers for a relationship he described as “a little bit complicated.”
“We want to reset our relationship, and we want to make sure that we are learning, we are listening and we are rebooting,” he said at the time.
Now Flight is done. And with Twitter’s future as a standalone company very much up in the air, we don’t yet know if it’ll be coming back.