Twitter debuts a Lite version for emerging markets

The data-friendly version is browser-based

Twitter launched Thursday a ‘Lite’ version of its service that runs from the browser on a smartphone, in a bid to attract customers in emerging markets, who have flaky Internet connections or are wary of spending too much on data.

The micro-blogging service said that Lite had been designed as a Progressive Web App in collaboration with Google and is available at mobile.twitter.com, and does not require an app store. It is said to take up less than 1MB on the device.

Lite offers key features of Twitter such as the timeline, tweets, direct messages, trends, profiles, media uploads, notifications. With features like data savings, offline access to loaded content, resilience on flaky networks and fast load times, it is designed for emerging markets where networks are still patchy and data expensive.

While smartphone adoption grew to 3.8 billion connections by the end of 2016, 45 percent of mobile connections are still on slow 2G networks, wrote Patrick Traughber product manager at Twitter in a blog post, citing data from GSMA Intelligence.

The move by Twitter comes a day after Google tried to give a boost to YouTube in India by offering a beta version of YouTube Go, its app that allows users to download and view videos offline to take advantage of low night tariffs, and also lets users choose the resolution for the video download and streaming depending on their data connection.

Lite targets users around the world, supporting 42 languages, but the company appeared to focus on India at the launch of the new service. Six Indian languages - Hindi, Bengali, Kannada, Tamil, Gujarati, and Marathi – will be supported from the start.

The company said it has partnered with Vodafone in India to provide live cricket updates through a specially curated Twitter timeline to the mobile operator's smartphone customers as a popular cricket season kicks off.

Twitter Lite is a client-side JavaScript application and a Node.js server, which handles user authentication, constructs the initial state of the app, and renders the initial HTML application shell, wrote Twitter engineer Nicolas Gallagher. Once loaded in the browser, the app requests data directly from the Twitter application programming interface, he wrote.

As it is on the mobile web, Twitter Lite is supported from the start on a number of mobile devices. It is currently compatible with devices supporting Chrome - Version 40 and above, Firefox - Version 40 and above, Safari - Version 7 and above, Android Browser - Version 4.4 and above, Microsoft Edge and Opera.

Twitter Lite reduces data use by default by using cached data and serving smaller media files, wrote Gallagher. Images have, for example, been optimized to reduce their impact on data usage by as much as 40 percent as the user scrolls through a timeline, and in a data saver mode, usage can be further reduced by replacing images in tweets and direct messages with a small and blurred preview, which can also be shut off if more data savings is required.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?