Twitter is launching a new version of its application specifically designed for mobile web browsers. Dubbed ‘Twitter Lite,’ the service aims to give mobile users a more convenient way to access Twitter on their mobile devices, all the while minimizing data usage, loading times, and catering to slower Internet connections. Twitter Lite includes offline support to avoid interruptions when temporarily losing connection while using the service, and provides access to key features including the Timeline, Trends, Profiles, Notifications, media uploads, and Direct Messages.
According to Twitter, the smartphone adoption of its service grew to 3.8 billion connections by the end of 2016, but GSMA found that 45 percent of these mobile connections were made on slow 2G networks. Twitter Lite aims to offer a faster alternative to the usual Twitter application for mobile users, boasting up to 30-percent faster launch times. It also promises to cut down on data usage by adding a Data Saver mode which can be enabled by tapping your profile picture. This mode allows users to preview images and videos before fully loading them, reducing data usage by up to 70 percent, according to the company. Media files will appear blurred in previews, which can then be tapped in order to load fully. It’s also worth noting that Twitter Lite takes advantage of various features in modern web browsers for Android devices including Google Chrome, allowing users to set up alerts and push notifications on the lock screen. For easy access, Google Chrome users on Android OS can add a Twitter Lite shortcut to their home screens by heading down to mobile.twitter.com, tapping the ‘menu’ button and selecting the ‘Add to Home screen’ option. Of course, the service can be accessed from smartphones, tablets and personal computers alike, as long as they have an active Internet connection.
While it's available internationally, Twitter Lite was primarily designed for mobile users in emerging markets including Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Africa, who may not have convenient or fast access to the Internet. In today’s official announcement, Twitter also revealed that it partnered with Vodafone India in order to promote Twitter Lite to its 200 million subscribers as a way to gain updates on live sports events including the Indian Premier League.