New Delhi: Twitter Inc. launched a faster-loading, data-friendly mobile service called Twitter Lite, in partnership with Vodafone, at an event on Thursday. Twitter Lite is a mobile web experience, optimized for speed and data usage—with up to 30% faster launch time and reduces data usage up to 70% with data saver mode turned on and takes up less than 1 MB on mobile devices.
The lighter version will also provide some of the key features of Twitter like push notifications and offline support. Twitter Lite will be available in 42 languages, including six Indian languages of Hindi, Bengali, Kannada, Marathi, Gujarati and Tamil.
Built for emerging markets, the product was launched in India, since the company sees the country as a strategic market. “India is a top 5 audience market for us globally and also among the fastest growing audience, so we are very happy to launch this global product in India,” said Maya Hari, managing director, Twitter Asia Pacific.
As the first global launch partner for Twitter Lite, Vodafone will “curate unique timelines around cricket during the T20 season to start with, and share that with their consumers and promote this to their audience,” explained Hari.
With this, Indian sports buffs on Vodafone’s network of 200 million subscribers across the country can use Twitter Lite to get real-time cricket updates. Hari said that there was a similar partnership with IPL, where Twitter has brought out 30 unique hashtags for IPL players, and IPL would also be broadcasting a battle for who is the best player of the day with participation from the audience. All this would help to create conversation and buzz on its platform around cricket.
The lighter product also means that there are no barriers to accessibility now. So all a user really needs is a smartphone or a tablet with a browser—no App Store or Google Play account is required.
Twitter Lite comes in the wake of similar products such as Facebook Lite that was launched in 2015 and Alphabet Inc.’s YouTube Go that unveiled a low-data mobile app designed for India this week itself.