As detailed in a new report from TechCrunch, Twitter has started testing a new Twitter Lite application for Android. The social network is testing the app in the Philippines as it looks to make the service more accessible in countries where data speeds are an issue.
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In a statement, Twitter, explained that the Philippines market has slow mobile networks and high-cost data plans, thus the need for an app such as Twitter Lite:
“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,” said a Twitter spokesperson. “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.”
Twitter isn’t investing heavily in the application at this point, however, and calls it an “experiment.” The company is still “evaluating whether to launch it in further markets.
Twitter Lite has many of the same features as the normal Twitter app, but there are changes to make it use less data. There’s a media-free mode, which will allow you to pick which images and videos you want to download and view.
Twitter is far more popular around the world than it is in the United States, with 68 million users residing within the United States and 260 million outside. Whether or not Twitter Lite comes to additional countries, however, remains to be seen.