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Twitter Lite launches to attract people in emerging markets

The new mobile version of Twitter, which is faster and eats up less data, was designed for people on slower wireless connections.


Twitter Lite offers faster navigation on slower connections.

Cameron Spencer, Getty Images

Twitter on Thursday introduced a speedier, more data-friendly version of its social media website to attract more people in developing markets.

Twitter Lite uses less data, loads faster on slower wireless connections and takes up less than a megabyte of memory on a device. The mobile web app loads up to 30 percent faster on a 3G device than the original mobile site, and Twitter claims it can save up to 70 percent of data. It also offers faster navigation to Twitter features like direct messages and notifications.

This version of Twitter is geared toward developing markets such as Asia Pacific, Latin America and Africa. While mobile users in developed markets have widespread access to fast 4G LTE networks, much of the world still only has access to 2G and 3G wireless service, which is considerably slower.

As tech companies saturate the market in places like the US and Europe, they are looking for growth in markets where the wireless infrastructure isn't as developed. But to do that, they have to adapt their apps and services to work better on these slower connections. Google and Facebook have also begun adapting their apps to work on slower 3G wireless networks. Earlier this week, Google launched a beta version of its YouTubeGo service in India. And in 2015, Facebook released its own Lite app that provides speedier access on slower networks.