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article imageTwitter Lite cuts back the bloat, launches 30% faster

By James Walker     Apr 6, 2017 in Technology
Twitter has become the latest social network to offer a pared-back version of its app for people with sub-standard mobile connections. Twitter Lite is tailored towards the 2G networks used in many emerging regions of the world, improving user experiences.
Announced in a blog post today, Twitter said Lite has been built to minimise data usage and load more quickly on slow connections. While it'll be most appreciated by people in territories where reliable mobile networks are scarce, it could also be useful to people in developed regions who want to save data and speed up a low-end phone.
Unlike the recent offerings from Facebook and Skype, Twitter Lite isn't a standalone app. Instead, it's a new mobile website to access from your browser. This immediately carries an advantage – because you don't need to install an app, there's no long download times on slow connections. Additionally, no storage space is required and any updates are done server-side, again without using your data plan until you next visit the site.
Twitter Lite
Twitter Lite
Lite includes all of Twitter's core features. There's the main timeline view, a search and trends screen, the notification pane and your profile page. You can post new tweets from the app and upload photos and GIFs. Direct Messages are also supported.
Twitter Lite also comes with a unique set of features not found in the main Twitter app. A dedicated "Data saver" mode reduces Twitter's data usage by downloading very low resolution blurred images in the timeline. You can tap a photo to download it at full size. The download size will be displayed, keeping you aware of how much data you're consuming.
Despite being a mobile website, Twitter Lite is still feature rich and a capable Twitter client. On modern Android web browsers it includes push notifications and offline support, keeping you up to date when the app isn't open or you've got no connection at all. Availability of these features will vary depending on your phone's Android version and web browser. They'll work best in Google Chrome on newer devices.
Twitter Lite
Twitter Lite
Twitter Lite expands Twitter to more people by cutting down the data cost of checking up on the social network. The current trend towards "lite" apps is having a significant impact on the communities that need them most. The rise of scaled-back offerings also indicates the scale of feature bloat on modern social networks as companies are being forced to define the core components of their product.
"We are working hard to bring more exciting updates to Twitter Lite for people worldwide and to develop more partnerships in emerging markets to make it useful," said Twitter. "No matter where you are in the world, we want to make Twitter the best way for you to get real-time updates on news, sports, entertainment, politics, and other topics that matter most to you."
Twitter Lite is available now on the web at On mobile devices, it's also accessible from is promising up to 30% faster launch times than the current mobile web experience alongside improved reliability and lower data usage. The features will aid the 45% of mobile users who are still forced to use 2G networks.
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