They might be getting a lot of flak for fake news and inconsistent rules, but social media is just as big if not bigger than ever. It could be even bigger if they actually reached markets where even traditional sources of news and communication have a hard time catering to. That’s why there is a sudden rash of “lite” versions of social apps designed to cater to emerging markets with slow Internet and cramped phones. And now Twitter Lite, one of the first to do so, is making it’s going places before everyone else does.
Launched last year, Twitter Lite is everything its name implies. It’s light on the data usage and it’s light on storage space. It’s also light on availability, though, launching in only 25 countries at that time. It took nearly a year but Twitter Lite is finally rolling out to more territories. It’s not yet the whole world, mind, but 21 is better than zero.
Starting today, Twitter Lite will be available in Argentina, Belarus, Dominican Republic, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Morocco, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Romania, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, Uruguay, Yemen, and Zimbabwe. That brings the total to 46, including Algeria, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Egypt, Israel, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Malaysia, Nigeria, Nepal, Panama, Peru, Philippines Serbia, El Salvador, South Africa, Thailand, Tunisia, Tanzania, and Venezuela.
The update, however, isn’t just about claiming new markets. It’s also about expanding the feature set of the app to make sure users aren’t left out of things that make Twitter so addictive. Bookmarks, for example, let you save tweets for later, when you have a better Internet connection, while Threads make sure you won’t get lost in a Twitter conversation. The most addictive feature of all, however, is Push Notifications, which may or may not actually affect your data and battery consumption over time.
Twitter Lite is, of course, meant to actually save you money. Features like Data Saver will only load images or videos when you tell it to. The app itself is only 3 MB in size, a fraction of the full version of the app. And if you have a phone with an OLED screen, using night mode could help save some battery, not to mention your eyes.