It’s no secret that Twitter has been having problems these last few years, and not surprising that it’s trying to get back on its feet (talons?) by releasing various new features that, to date, don’t seem to have had a tremendous impact on users – current or potential. Their latest app for Android, Twitter Lite, may well be the best idea that the social media company has come up with so far.
Most of Twitter’s user base resides outside of the United States (68 million users across the States compared to 260 million users abroad), and many of these users live in emerging markets with slower and more expensive networks. Many of these users also use mobile devices that offer considerably less storage, making it difficult to use apps like Twitter, apps that feature an overwhelming stream of media, articles and pictures. Twitter Lite was created and is being tested with those users in mind.
The new app works well on 2G and 3G networks while retaining most of the features found on Twitter. It also takes relatively little space on mobile devices (around 3MB once installed). What’s also great about Twitter Lite is that users have the option to turn off media mode, which allows them to select specific videos and images to download. This is a great move on Twitter’s part, as by offering users the option to have less content, they are potentially gaining more users in those emerging markets where Twitter’s traditional format would be impossible if not extremely frustrating to use.
And word is that it’s not only users in slow network areas that are interested in Twitter Lite. One user tweeted: “I use the Twitter Lite PWA because the native app for Android is too slow. AMA.” So while Twitter Lite was designed for users in areas that have slower networks, it might also help recruit users looking for a quicker app, or one that has new options like the option to turn media off.
Of all the fixes and way that Twitter has employed to grow its user base, Twitter Lite seems to be the one that has the most potential for success. Let’s hope that the trial period yields good results and that Twitter Lite can soon be made available to everyone, so that Twitter can start making its way toward solid ground.