Twitter is targeting emerging markets where users often have unreliable internet connections with a smaller, faster version of its service. Dubbed Twitter Lite, the browser-based incarnation of the microblogging site saves on data usage and takes up less than a megabyte of a device’s storage space.
In a blog post, Twitter product manager Patrick Traughber explains how Twitter Lite has up to 30 percent faster launch times and quicker navigation speeds than the regular app while retaining the majority of its key features, such as timelines, tweets, direct messages, etc.
Twitter Lite also comes with a data saver mode. Enabling it can reduce data usage by up to 70 percent, making it an excellent feature for areas where mobile data is expensive. It works by showing a blurry preview of images and videos on the timeline; they'll only fully load if a user taps on one.
The new site is a progressive web app (PWA) that’s been developed in partnership with Google. On Android, you’ll get native mobile app features such as push notifications, as well as the ability to add it to the home screen and app drawer. There’s even offline support so you can still browse tweets (though not new ones) should you lose your connection.
“It works on most smartphones and tablets without an App Store or Google Play account. You won’t need an email account or credit card either,” said Twitter.
Twitter follows Facebook and YouTube in releasing a scaled down version of its service aimed at users outside of the US. You can try it out right now at mobile.twitter.com.