Today, the micro-blogging site – Twitter – has almost four times as many monthly active users (260 million) outside the United States that it has in its home market (68 million). The social network released a new app this week in an effort to boost those numbers even more.
Test of the Twitter Lite app starts
The micro-blogging giant is testing an Android app for Twitter Lite – a native app version of mobile web site that the social network released earlier this year which uses less mobile data to work. Lighter data load means that the application is useful mostly for emerging markets where data networks are frequently slower and more expensive for consumers to use
Analytics firm SensorTower notified us about the new Twitter Lite app and there were some news reports about the same news from other tech-based news sites like TechCrunch. Now, the social networking site has confirmed to the news site TechCrunch that the app is being run currently in test mode in the Philippines.
The social network looks like a separate app in Philippines in the Google Play Store for devices running Android 5.0 and up and it has language support both for Filipino and English. Also, the app is usable on 2G and 3G networks.
A Twitter spokesperson said, “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.”
Our goal is to make Twitter accessible to everyone in the world: Dorsey
The spokesperson further said, “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.” He described the app as an experiment and said that the social network was still evaluating whether to launch it in further markets or not.
In recent years, Twitter has reoriented itself as a media company, for instance it has gotten into deals with several popular channels to livestream events to get more audience and hike up advertising.
The social network has not yet released numbers on how much traffic comes from its Twitter Lite web site, which is built as a Progressive Web App but it is not surprising to see the social network expanding Lite after Jack Dorsey – the Chief Executive of Twitter – underlined its importance for the company in its international and emerging market strategies. In July in the quarterly earnings call of the company, the CEO said that they have been working over the past few months on some early foundational work, and Twitter Lite represents one of these. He added, “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. So we have areas in the world where network infrastructure is more costly, and we could be a lot better in terms of serving those markets and those countries. So it’s way too soon to access the — to assess the usage trends, but our initial results look really positive.”