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The Fabric of Our Phones: Cloth and Twitter Fabric Name Review

By Jed Rendleman

November 3, 2014

FabricAlthough the name does not explicitly say what the product does, as soon as I heard about Twitter Fabric, I could guess at its function.  Twitter has long held a monopoly on real-time online thought sharing, but like all big tech companies, has branched out with other lucrative ventures. From MoPub, which allows advertisers to target ads on Twitter, to Digits, which allows users to sign up for services using their phone number, Twitter’s offerings have grown in number and variety. However, with such disparate offerings, users weren’t getting that cuddly seamless feeling we’ve grown to expect from our technology.

The purpose of Twitter Fabric is to take all those services and, well, weave them together into one platform. Many of the tools bundled into Fabric have long been essential for all app developers, such as Crashlytics, software that analyzes reasons an app may have failed and suggests solutions. By making these offerings more convenient for developers to access and use in conjunction with one another, Twitter hopes to extend its reach on the social networking market, and as a result, make more money from advertisers using MoPub.

In the realm of suggestive naming, Fabric is a grand slam. Fabric suggests connectedness, many threads woven together to form one cohesive material far more useful than the sum of its parts. Like seamlessness? That’s the whole point of the service. The word sounds soft, too. Can you hear the soft f of running your hand over a sheet? Tuck me in, I’m so cozy! Oh, and it’s like got ‘fab’ in it too? Winning! But to tie it all together, fabric is a commonly used metaphor. The fabric of society is the culture that unifies civilizations. Cotton Incorporated has even trademarked the phrase, “the fabric of our lives.” With the name Fabric, Twitter is looking at the big picture. They don’t just want to keep people intertwined, they want to provide the twine.

318913b8748f8f68_Cloth-APp.xxxlarge_1Moving on to the next textile, let’s talk Cloth. According to the video on their website, Cloth is “the app built around how you are already using your phone to get dressed and get inspired.”

Aren’t you tired of the hundreds of uncategorized selfies from your morning photo-shoots? Cloth has provided an interactive platform where you can take pictures of your outfits and save them to an online wardrobe. Your friends can then go onto your profile to ask where you bought your ascot or give you advice about what to wear on your Tinder date. With a forecast feature, you can even choose your outfits based on their assigned weather categorization. Wondering what people wear in Alaska? Search by geography to see the hottest regional trends, from parkas to puka shells.

Unlike Fabric, Cloth is more on the descriptive end of the naming spectrum. It’s an app for clothes. However, it’s not called Clothes, and that’s important. Namely, a plural name would sound like a sales portal. We all wear clothes, but it’s the cloth itself that we all share.

Cloth is a nice name that tells us what the product is all about. Because of that, it doesn’t pack the same multifaceted subtlety as Twitter Fabric. Overall, these are both solid fashionable names that look great strutting down the runway.

Twitter Fabric: A
Cloth: B+

Grade:
B+
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