Twitter has announced Twitter Lite, which is a global product out of India, and a new partnership with Vodafone in India. Twitter Lite as the name suggests is a more data friendly version of the website, designed for mobile web, and is addressed towards markets like India where internet connectivity remains an issue. Twitter Lite is based on Google’s progressive web apps.
“India is instrumental to the growth of Twitter. It is one of the largest growth engines in the world. In India, over 200 million users are on prepaid. There is incredible headroom for growth of digital India, and Twitter in particular,” said Maya Hari, Managing Director Asia Pacific, Twitter.
She pointed out that India is among Twitter’s largest audience, and fastest growing in the world, though she didn’t elaborate on numbers for the same.
“We saw close to a million tweets about Diwali in 2016. More than 6 million tweets around the recent state elections,” pointed out Hari at the launch.
“Twitter Lite looks at emerging markets. The three main pillars on which it resides, which are network conditions, the kind of device being used and how affordable this access is to a user. Twitter Lite wants to address all these questions,” said Arvinder Gujral,Senior Director Business Development Asia Pacific for Twitter.
As a product Twitter Lite will be available globally, though it is launching first in India. Twitter Lite can be accessed on mobile web, has a data saver mode where it can compress 70 per cent of the data. Twitter Lite will let users choose if they wish to download images they see on tweets, and has an offline mode as well. In this mode, tweets last cached show even when a user goes offline.
Twitter Lite can be saved a bookmark on the homepage as well; the company says it has an app like feel with the round icon, though it works on the internet browser. Twitter says the Lite version will use 1MB of space on a mobile.
According to the company, it will be available in 42 global languages with six Indian languages supported. The list includes Hindi, Bengali, Kannada, Tamil.