The “Lite” version of Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), which uses lower data, has been rolled out in more than 24 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.The new version of the Twitter App has been optimized to appeal to developing markets where data plans are expensive. The Android app is capable of faster loading on slow networks. It allows users to select videos and images that they want to download, minimizing on data usage.
According to Twitter, the app has shown resilience on 2G and 3G mobile networks, which are deemed unreliable. Twitter’s vice president Keith Coleman said the app will allow the San Francisco based firm to reach more people in a cheaper, faster way while offering an improved user experience.
The app was introduced in April, with a successful trial in the Philippines. Additionally, the total size of the app has been reduced to less than 3MB. This means that the app is light in size and won’t take up lots of space on the phone. Twitter Lite can be accessed from any mobile browser.
In Africa, the app has been rolled out in Algeria, Egypt, South Africa, Tunisia and Tanzania. Mexico, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Brazil in Latin America have also had the lite experience. Others countries enjoying the lite app are Panama, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela. The app is also available in; Nepal, Kazakhstan, Thailand, Bangladesh and Israel.
Twitter says that the introduction of the app in Philippines increased the number of tweets by over 50 per cent in that country, demonstrating its potential to grow user numbers. With over 330 Million active monthly users, Twitter Lite is expected to expand the company’s international reach.
As it stands, 80 per cent of active Twitter users are located outside the USA. And Twitter Lite could be the solution to expanding to new markets given its qualities like low data consumption. At the same time, investors are closely monitoring the company’s growth in user numbers.
Having experienced volatility on the stock market over the last few years, Twitter’s stock has remained constant in the past year. Trading at $20.58, the stock is lower than the highs of $69 it recorded in early 2014.
Twitter is among a growing list of companies that are creating lightweight versions of their core apps. Earlier in 2015, Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) introduced its lite version, which was followed up with the Messenger Lite app a year later.