Twitter reached out to a rarely approached market this week: people without access to high speed internet and people with limited data caps.
The social media service announced a new “lite” version of their site this week, one that uses significantly less data and loads at a much faster speed. By company estimates, changes they’re making to the mobile Twitter site already could cut data use by as much as 40% in most cases. With Twitter lite, data use will be cut as high as 70%.
Twitter Lite will only be available though a web browser. It’s not a standalone app at the moment. Of course, because people with slow or limited internet likely aren’t downloading many apps anyway.
The service is aimed primarily at users outside of the United States, as these are often the communities that lack internet connections the most. “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,” Keith Coleman, Twitter’s vice president of product said.
In regards to India, there’s no coincidence that Twitter is releasing their lite service right as a major cricket event is taking place. Cricket is tremendously popular in India, and following real time sports is one of the most popular uses for Twitter. Unlike most other social networks, Twitter still has a chronological timeline instead of one that uses an algorithm to determine importance.
Twitter Lite is also expected to be popular in countries that suffer from slow internet like Indonesia, the Philippines, Brazil, Argentina and Mexico.