Twitter is late to the party, as Facebook had released a ‘Lite’ version of their platform in 2015 and YouTube Go — YouTube’s lite version — was announced last year and released in beta this year.
According to GSMA, 45% of mobile connections worldwide still work on the slow 2G networks, which means there is a lot of scope for Twitter Lite to work in the company’s favour, especially in developing nations.
Twitter Lite is primarily aimed at providing ease of using the service in areas with slow internet connectivity, that is, the emerging markets.
“We are rolling out Twitter Lite, a new mobile web experience which minimises data usage, loads quickly on slower connections, is resilient on unreliable mobile networks, and take up less than 1MB on your device,” Patrick Traughber. Product Manager, stated.
There is no dedicated phone app designed for the service, which can only be accessed via a web browser but it appears and works in a similar way to the Twitter app.
Users will be able to access their timeline, tweets, direct messages, trends, profiles, media uploads and get notifications when the Twitter Lite is active on their browser.
“Millions of people around the world use Twitter to see what’s happening right now. However, there are several barriers to using Twitter, including slow mobile networks, expensive data plans, or lack of storage on mobile devices,” Traughber added.
The Twitter Lite service has a data saver mode which disables auto-download of images and videos as you scroll down the screen — all the previews will be blurred. Users can tap on the preview to see the image or video in full resolution.
Users can tap on the preview to see the image or video in full resolution. This enables data savings to up to 70%.
Twitter is targeting emerging markets across Asia Pacific, Latin America and Africa with the Lite version of their app and have even struck a partnership with Vodafone in India to promote the browser-based app as the cricket IPL season kicks off.
“No matter where you are in the world, we want to make Twitter the best way for you to get real-time updates on news, sports, entertainment, politics and other topics that matter most to you,” he concluded.
The San Francisco-based social media firm currently has a user base of 319 million users, which is lower than that of Facebook at 1.9 billion, but announcing support for a Lite version of Twitter might help them boost those numbers.