With 45 percent of global smartphone connections on 2G networks, lightweight versions of apps are key to success. Twitter is jumping on the bandwagon with Twitter Lite.
Facebook has done it, YouTube has done it, Twitter is doing it, too. We’re talking, of course, about offering a lightweight version of the platform to make it easier for users in countries with less robust access to data to use Twitter. In April, Twitter product manager Patrick Traughber published a blog post announcing the debut of Twitter Lite, described as “a new mobile web experience which minimizes data usage, loads quickly on slower connections, is resilient on unreliable mobile networks, and takes up less than 1MB on your device.”
For users in the Phillipines, the app can be found in the Google Play Store for those who have Android 5.0 and above. It has English and Filipino support, and can be used on 2G and 3G networks.
“The test of the Twitter Lite app in the Google Play Store in the Philippines is another opportunity to increase the availability of Twitter in this market,” a Twitter spokesperson told Tech Crunch. “The Philippines market has slow mobile networks and expensive data plans, while mobile devices with limited storage are still very popular there. Twitter Lite helps to overcome these barriers to usage for Twitter in the Philippines.”
The app is under 3MB and has a “data saver mode to download only the images or videos you want to see,” according to the app’s download page.
While smartphone adoption is growing at a rapid rate around the world, infrastructure isn’t necessarily keeping up. In fact, the GSMA reports, 45 percent of mobile connections remain on 2G networks. And given that smartphone adoption is now at around 3.8 billion connections, that’s a lot of phones on slower networks.
The Twitter Lite site not only requires less data, but promises 30 percent faster launch times and quicker navigation throughout the platform. Users can still be able to see the core components of the social media service, including timeline, Tweets, Direct Messages, trends, profiles, media uploads, and notifications without an app. No word if Twitter’s new night mode will come to the Lite platform.
And to make things more efficient still, Twitter’s data saver mode, could potentially reduce your data usage by up to 70 percent. Twitter Lite also offers offline support so you’ll be able to maintain your session even if your connection is spotty.
You can check out Twitter Lite at mobile.twitter.com on a smartphone or tablet. More information can be found at lite.twitter.com, and if you’re interested in learning how the tool was built, you can do that here.
Update: Added information about Twitter Lite app being tested in the Philippines.