Twitter is testing Twitter Lite, a pared down version of its Android app, in the Philippines in a move which could be crucial for the company as it struggles to add to its user base.
A company representative told TechCrunch the test is a bid to broaden availability of Twitter in a market with “slow mobile networks and expensive data plans” where “mobile devices with limited storage are still very popular.”
Twitter Lite would help “overcome these barriers”, the representative added, explaining the app is “an experiment” and Twitter was still considering whether to launch it in more markets.
The product is available on the Google Play Store for devices running Android 5.0 and up. It is compatible with English and Filipino, and works on 2G and 3G networks.
Twitter already has a lite web app launched in April which can reduce data usage by up to 70 per cent and offers 30 per cent faster launch times than its regular app. It is available in 42 languages and accessible to anyone with a smartphone or tablet with a browser, but its initial promotions focused on India.
The latest Android app offers many of the same basic functions of the core app but there are some features included to cut data consumption. For instance, users can choose not to automatically download images and video, but select what media they want to see.
In the company’s quarterly earnings call in July, CEO Jack Dorsey said: “One of our goals is to make sure Twitter is accessible to anyone in the world. And Twitter Lite exactly hits on this particular goal. Especially in places like India, we found that our app was just way too slow to access.”