There are a lot of countries in the world where not only is data expensive but many people cannot afford vast amounts of data that we here in Australia are lucky enough to have. For this reason companies are looking at ways of getting their apps to use less data so they can continue their push into these less-developed countries.
Twitter has today released an app into the Philippines Play Store that is a web app packaged into an Android app. The idea is to get more people using Twitter — at this stage it is around 330 million users. In a comment to TechCrunch Twitter has said that:
The test of the Twitter Lite app in the Google Play Store in the Philippines is another opportunity to increase the availability of Twitter in this market. The Philippines market has slow mobile networks and expensive data plans, while mobile devices with limited storage are still very popular there. Twitter Lite helps to overcome these barriers to usage for Twitter in the Philippines.
Twitter is apparently testing the waters with the app in the Philippines before deciding whether to roll it out to other countries. The app itself is a very basic Twitter app where you can see all the usual functions such as Timelines, Notifications, Messages and the Explore Tab. There is no support for multiple accounts just yet and considering that has not arrived in the web app which has been available for a while it is not expected to arrive any time soon.
There is of course a data saver mode and the ability to switch from a media-free mode into a mode where you can select which images and videos are downloaded thereby limiting the amount of data used by the app (up to 70% less). The Lite app gives Twitter a wider set of tools to improve the user experience than the web app does. The resultant app is a faster (up to 30% faster), more streamlined app that uses less data than the full version of the app.
Twitter’s goal is to make Twitter accessible to anyone in the world and this is a definite step in the right direction and the Twitter Lite app is definitely a step in that direction. At this stage it is only available in the Philippines through official channels (Play Store) but you can grab a copy of it from APK Mirror and check it out for yourself.