Twitter Lite Is Twitter’s Solution for Users With Slower Networks, Less Data

Twitter Lite requires less than 1 MB of memory, launches 30 percent faster and has a data saver mode

Twitter addressed the issues faced by users and potential users in markets with poor connectivity with its introduction of Twitter Lite, which provides access to the social network via a mobile web experience rather than a native application.

Product manager Patrick Traughber said in a blog post that although 3.8 billion smartphones were in use globally at the end of 2016, 45 percent of them were connected via slower 2G networks.

According to Traughber, Twitter Lite requires less than 1 megabyte of devices’ memory, and it launches up to 30 percent faster than the flagship Twitter app, boasting speedier navigation, as well.

Standard Twitter features available via Twitter Lite include timeline, tweets, direct messages, trends, profiles, media uploads and notifications, and Twitter Lite also includes a data saver mode and additional features on Google Chrome and other Android browsers, which Traughber described in his blog post:

We have added a data saver mode, which further reduces the amount of mobile data used. In this mode, you will see a preview of images and videos before choosing which ones to fully load. This can reduce your data usage by up to 70 percent, making it more affordable for you to use Twitter in areas where mobile data is expensive.

Twitter Lite has additional features in Google Chrome and other modern browsers on Android devices. You can now receive a wide range of push notifications, so you’ll be alerted to what’s happening on Twitter throughout the day. Twitter Lite also offers offline support, so you will not be interrupted while using Twitter if you temporarily lose your connection. You can also add Twitter Lite to your device’s home screen, so you can launch Twitter quickly with just one tap.

Twitter Lite is accessible by visiting mobile.twitter.com on smartphones and tablets, and more information is available here.

Facebook introduced Facebook Lite, its stand-alone app for lower-end Android devices with poorer network connectivity, in January 2015, and the social network announced in February that Facebook Lite topped 200 million monthly active users.

Facebook also introduced a “slimmed-down” version of its Messenger app, Messenger Lite, last October, targeting the same user group.

Twitter engineer Nicolas Gallagher provided a look at the technical nuts and bolts behind Twitter Lite in a blog post of his own, and his overview follows:

Twitter Lite is a client-side JavaScript application and a small, simple Node.js server. The server handles user authentication, constructs the initial state of the app and renders the initial HTML application shell. Once loaded in the browser, the app requests data directly from the Twitter API (application-programming interface). The simplicity of this basic architecture has helped us deliver exceptional service reliability and efficiency at scale—Twitter Lite an order of magnitude less expensive to run than our server-rendered desktop website.