Following the successful trial a few months back, Twitter is releasing the “Lite” version of its app globally. On Thursday, the micro-blogging firm announced that the Twitter Lite app is now available for download in 24 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Latin America.
Users appreciated Twitter Lite app during test phase
Twitter said that it opted to roll out the service globally following a soft launch in the Philippines two months ago, which resulted in increased user engagement rates. Several users were impressed with its ability to use minimal data, quick load time and small size. All these benefits encouraged Twitter to release it globally.
“Through on-the-ground user research and Play Store reviews, we received a lot of valuable feedback…. Based on these positive results, we have decided to bring it to more people around the world,” said Twitter product manager Jesar Shah, in a blog post.
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During the testing phase, Twitter was able to further improve the app with the help of additional performance optimizations and a few extra features like GIF search and ranked Home timeline. The company claims that its new app is “more resilient on unreliable mobile networks,” like 2G and 3G, and it has reduced its size to below 3MB to ensure that it is able to run perfectly on budget phones.
The Twitter Lite app is now available in Panama, Peru, Serbia, El Salvador, South Africa, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Malaysia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Thailand, Tunisia, Tanzania, Venezuela, Ecuador, Egypt, Algeria, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Israel, Nigeria, and Nepal.
Comes with offline support and data saver mode
The Twitter Lite app is a tweaked version of the Twitter Lite web version, which was introduced in April of this year.
“Since then we’ve seen an increase in engagement – for example, tweets sent from Twitter Lite have increased more than 50 percent,” the executive said.
The main aim of the Lite version is to use a minimum of data to ensure that the micro-blogging site is usable even in locations with unreliable connectivity. The Twitter Lite web version is already available in all parts of the world.
Twitter claims that the Lite version (both via mobile web and Play Store) “offers offline support in case you temporarily lose your connection” and “offers a data saver mode to download only the images or videos you want to see.” Currently, the app is available only on Android, and there is no word (for now) when it will be available on iOS and to more countries.
The Twitter Lite app will surely help the company to expand its reach internationally. The company has 330 million monthly active users, of which 80% are outside the U.S. Since the company’s initial public offering in November 2013, its stock has posted double-digit losses every full calendar year, notes CNBC. This year, however, looks different as the stock is up almost 29% year to date, and is well on a path for its best full year on record. Presently, the stock is trading below its IPO price of $26 per share.
On Thursday, Twitter shares closed down 1.15% at $20.58.