Twitter announced today its Twitter Lite app is expanding to 21 more countries, which makes the data-saving app available to more than 45 countries in total. The app was introduced last year with the goal of bringing in more users from emerging markets to Twitter. Similar to other data-saving apps, like Facebook Lite or YouTube Go, Twitter Lite is designed to load faster on slower network connections, like 2G and 3G, and also has a smaller footprint, so it takes up less space on the phone.
Twitter’s hope is that by addressing the needs of those low-bandwith users in international markets, the company could help increase its overall user base, which has remained fairly stagnant.
Today, the company is making the app available to 21 countries, including: Argentina, Belarus, Dominican Republic, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Morocco, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Romania, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, Uruguay, Yemen, and Zimbabwe.
These join the other markets where Twitter Lite has been available, such as: Algeria, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Egypt, Israel, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Malaysia, Nigeria, Nepal, Panama, Peru, Serbia, El Salvador, South Africa, Thailand, Tunisia, Tanzania and Venezuela, in addition to the Philippines.
The app offers a variety of features for those on slower or unreliable networks. For example, Lite users can turn on a Data saver mode that allows them to control which images or video load when browsing the network. Once enabled, you can load this content by tapping “Load Image” or “Load video,” as needed.
The app is also under 3MB in size, so it will load more quickly on slower networks.
And like Twitter, the app includes features like Bookmarks, a darker “Night mode” theme, threads, and starting today, push notifications.
The company in November claimed Twitter Lite led to a greater than 50% increase in tweets, and noted that 80% of its then 330 million monthly users were outside the U.S. That percentage remains roughly the same – as of July, Twitter had a total of 335 million users, with 68 million of those in the U.S.
However, the company isn’t growing that quickly outside the U.S., despite Twitter Lite. Also as of July 2018, we noted the company’s international audience had only grown by a modest 3.5% over the past year.
An expansion of the Twitter Lite app will certainly open up Twitter to more people, but it’s not clear there’s much demand.
The app is available as a free download on Google Play.