Twitter creates ‘Twitter lite’ version for data-starved users

Social media giants Twitter Inc. is poised to launch Twitter Lite version, a faster version of its mobile service Wednesday targeted at people with sporadic connections or little data on their smartphone plans, in a bid to get more users in a harder-to-reach emerging markets.

The new is called Twitter Lite and directed largely to users outside the United States. The Twiter Lite version works through a Web browser and it not a stand-alone phone application, but it has almost identical appearance and functionality to what app users experience, according to the preview Reuters got.

Several launch from social media platform have surfaced over the weekend from other tech giants like Tuesday release of Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) YouTube launched a low-data mobile app designed for India not forgetting that of Facebook Inc (FBO) releasing Facebook Lite in 2015.

Even at that, San Francisco-based Twitter still lags behind companies building user base. Twitter had 319 million average monthly active users at the end of last, up 4 percent year-over-year. But the figure is still infinitesimal to Facebook’s 1.9 billion users.

A primary reason in some parts of the world is how much data its app and earlier website consumed, Keith Coleman, Twitter’s vice president of product, said in an interview.

“We didn’t feel like we were reaching these other countries well enough, and this will allow us to do it faster, cheaper and with a better experience than we’ve had before,” he said.



According to Twitters analysis of the new Twitter Lite, the changes will make the mobile Website,, users see drop some 40 percent in average data consumption on the browser version.

With an additional data-saving feature users can turn on, data consumption will drop some 70 percent on average, said Patrick Traughber, a Twitter product manager. The reduction will come from differences such as initially displaying previews of pictures instead of full pictures.

Just as YouTube envisioned, Twitter is eyeing India’s 1.3 billion people, prompting the timed launch of Twitter Lite in part to coincide with the start this week of a major cricket event there, the Indian Premier League’s Twenty20 tournament.

Cricket is the most popular sport in India and following sports in real time is one of the main ways people use Twitter, which unlike many other social media networks still has a chronological timeline to emphasize immediacy.

Twitter Lite is expected to be mostly useful in other countries such Indonesia, Brazil, the Philippines, Mexico and Argentina.




Credits: Reuters,

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