Twitter lite is a new mobile experience from Twitter which will soon be available around the world. It was, however, created for emerging markets like India where slow, 2G connections are still the order of the day.
The new mobile experience will use less data, load up to 30% faster than the full-blown Twitter website on slower connections, and perform more reliably on flaky networks.
It goes without saying that the service will also be valuable for countries in Africa where slow internet connection is also rampant. If the users are accessing Twitter lite from Android devices running Google Chrome, they will also be able to receive push notifications from Twitter Lite’s mobile website directly onto their smartphones or tablets.
Twitter lite will also cache tweets offline, which will allow users to use it even if their connection drops and the company included a Data Saver mode that users can toggle on or off, which will let them preview images and videos and choose which ones to fully load.
According to Twitter, the feature can cut down data usage by up to 70%. Arvinder Gujral, senior director of business development at Twitter Asia Pacific, told BuzzFeed News at a launch event in New Delhi, India, which is one of Twitter’s most important emerging markets;
“Users in emerging markets like India usually don’t have Google accounts or credit cards that they can use to use to download apps from the Google Play Store… That’s why it was important for us to have a mobile website that provided an app-like experience.”
The company has been working on the feature for six months now and it was even held up after Twitter laid off that entire team as part of its global restructuring last year.
Twitter won’t be the first to adopt a “lite approach”, Facebook offers “Lite” versions of both its main app and Facebook Messenger on Android in certain emerging markets. And last month, Microsoft launched a slimmed-down version of Skype called Skype Lite exclusively for India.