Posted with permission from PCH

Twitter Launches

Twitter has rolled out the new version of its main app to 24 countries that could slash data consumption in half.

Named Twitter Lite, the app only takes up around 3MB of space and supports offline usage to combat patchy internet coverage.

It also allows users to decide which tweets, pictures and videos to download so they don't waste data automatically downloading everything.

Its release follows two months of successful testing in the Philippines, and experts claim it could dramatically boost Twitter's user base

Twitter Lite works through a web browser, but it looks and feels nearly identical to the existing app.

Designed to be as minimalist as possible, the app requires only 3MB of internal storage, roughly the same as a standard photograph.

Twitter found that after the Philippines experiment with the app, the number of tweets in the country increased by 50 percent.

The app is said to be more resilient to slow internet connections such as 2G and 3G, according to Twitter.

The launch comes on the heels of similar products from some of the social media site's rivals.

Facebook released Facebook Lite in 2015 and in April, YouTube unveiled a low-data mobile app designed for India.

The San Francisco-based firm is lagging slightly behind these companies in building a user base.

By the end of 2016, it had 319 million average monthly active users  – a four percent increase on the previous year, but still just a fraction of Facebook's 1.9 billion users.

A big reason for this, in some parts of the world, is how much data Twitters app and website consume – according to Keith Coleman, Twitter's vice president of product.

He added: 'We didn't feel like we were reaching these other countries well enough.

'This will allow us to do it faster, cheaper and with a better experience than we've had before.'

With several changes it made, users saw their average data consumption on the browser version go down by up to 50 percent.

With additional data-saving feature turned on, data consumption could drop by around 70 percent on average.

The new functions include initially displaying previews of pictures instead of full pictures.

Like YouTube, Twitter is hoping to expand into the Indian market of 1.3 billion people.

It timed the release of Twitter Lite in part to coincide with the start this week of a major cricket event there, the Indian Premier League's Twenty20 tournament.

Cricket is the most popular sport in India and following sports in real time is one of the main ways people use Twitter, which unlike many other social media networks still has a chronological timeline to emphasize immediacy.

TWITTER LITE LOCATIONS

Twitter has launched it's Lite version in 24 new countries that will build on the success of the pilot study in the Philippines.

The countries are:

  • Algeria
  • Bangladesh
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • Israel
  • Kazakhstan
  • Mexico
  • Malaysia
  • Nigeria
  • Nepal
  • Panama
  • Peru
  • Serbia
  • El Salvador
  • South Africa
  • Thailand
  • Tunisia
  • Tanzania
  • Venezuela