Twitter is testing a lite version of its Android app

Whether you make butter, soft drinks or social media apps – if you’re not offering a lighter version of your original product you’re doing something wrong and missing out on a potentially huge number of consumers.

Back in April of this year, Twitter joined the ranks of Facebook, Google, and Microsoft by creating a streamlined version of its mobile site called Twitter Lite. Now it’s taking this one step further with the Twitter Lite app.

The app seems to be largely the same experience offered by the Lite browser site, providing all the key features of the main Twitter app including timeline, Tweets, Direct Messages, trends, profiles, media uploads, notifications, and more. 

Data deprivation

However, it’ll work efficiently on 2G and 3G networks and a data-saving ‘media free’ mode will blur out any images or videos until the user specifically indicates they want to view them. 

Twitter Lite is currently an Android-only app and is being made available through Google Play in the Philippines. This limited release makes sense considering these data-friendly apps are geared towards attracting users in emerging mobile markets without 4G connectivity and slow and unreliable wireless networks. 

There is, however, usually interest in other parts of the world where data plans are expensive and customers are looking for ways to make their tariffs go further. Twitter has, however, said that the Twitter Lite app is just an experiment at the moment, so it’s not clear whether it will ever be rolled out to wider markets than the Philippines. It's worth remembering that rich media is still important to advertisers, so there may not be as much of an incentive to offer a lite version in some territories.

In the meantime, other users interested in a more stripped-back Twitter experience will have to continue to use the admittedly less convenient but equally as function-filled browser version. We’ll update here if and when that situation changes. 

Emma Boyle

Emma Boyle is TechRadar’s ex-Gaming Editor, and is now a content developer and freelance journalist. She has written for magazines and websites including T3, Stuff and The Independent. Emma currently works as a Content Developer in Edinburgh.