Mobility

How the stripped down Twitter Lite could cut mobile data use by 70%

On Thursday, the social media platform launched a 'lite' version of the site on mobile devices, using less data to speed processing. Here's how it could help deliver Twitter to emerging markets.

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Image: wundervisuals, Getty Images


On Thursday, Twitter announced a new, leaner version of its social media platform for mobile: Twitter Lite. The new offering, which you can add to your homescreen on your device with the single press of a button, operates on reduced data, can load content with slower or unreliable internet connections, and uses less than 1MB of data storage on mobile devices, according to the company. It even boasts 30% improvement in launch speed and faster navigation through the site.

With Twitter Lite, businesses, professionals, and social media users keep the same key features of Twitter, like the timeline, direct messages, trends, profiles, media uploads, notifications, and more.

Twitter also included a data saver mode to cut down on how much mobile data is used while on the platform—by up to 70%. This mode gives users the chance to preview images and photos before loading them on the device.

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Image: Twitter

For social media consumers using Google Chrome or other browsers on Android, Twitter Lite offers a variety of push notifications. It also includes the ability to view Twitter Lite offline, in case your internet connection falters.

By 8:00 am on Thursday, more than 200 million tweets had been sent across the world. And more and more users are turning to mobile devices for news and social media—according to StatCounter Global Stats research, 51.3% of internet usage in November 2016 came from mobile devices, as opposed to 48.7% from desktops. But barriers like slow networks, the rising cost of data plans, and lack of storage are often obstacles in using the web.

With the increased access to Twitter using the new 'Lite' version, business professionals and consumers will have a lower-cost way to access the social media platform. The new offering also has implications for remote areas with unreliable service, and emerging markets where people may want to try out Twitter for the first time.

In India, for instance, Twitter joined the country's telecom giant, Vodafone, to promote the offering to more than 200 million subscribers—which it hopes will be appealing with the kickoff of cricket season.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

1. On Thursday, Twitter offered a 'Lite' version of its social media platform on mobile devices, taking up less storage and offering data saving features.

2. Twitter Lite will keep the same standard features of Twitter, like the timeline, direct messages, notifications, and more—while using less data.

3. By using less data and offering faster access to Twitter on unstable networks, Twitter Lite could make the platform more appealing to those without data, as well as bring access to Twitter to emerging markets.


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About Hope Reese

Hope Reese is a Staff Writer for TechRepublic. She covers the intersection of technology and society, examining the people and ideas that transform how we live today.

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