Twitter announced today the release of Twitter Lite, a data-friendly version of the messaging site designed to be more resource friendly.
Unlike other "lite" applications, it is not made available as an application for Android or iOS operating systems, nor is Twitter Lite restricted to certain geographic regions.
In fact, you can even use Twitter Lite on your desktop computer, or on any other device that supports Internet browsing, as it is not limited to mobile devices.
To get started, point your device to https://mobile.twitter.com/home. That is all there is to it. If you are already signed in on Twitter in the same browser, you are signed in automatically on the new Twitter Lite site as well.
If you are not, you are asked to sign in before you can use it.
Twitter Lite is a bare-bones version of Twitter. It uses less interface elements, graphics, and other eye candy, but makes up for it by being blazing fast and resource friendly.
The four icons home, search, notifications and messages are listed at the top, and below that is the content of the selected item. If you select home for instance, you get the listing of your latest tweets, and tweets of people and organizations that you follow.
Twitter Lite ships with another new feature called data saver. It is not enabled by default, but you can enable it with a click on your profile icon, and toggling the data saver option on the preferences page that opens.
This blocks the automatic downloading of images or videos posted on Twitter. You see a blurred representation of the image or video instead. You can click on tap on the image or video to load it. Twitter displays the size of each media element that is blocked in its interface.
Since media is not loaded anymore by default when you enable data saver, you will save up to 70% of data according to Twitter when using the option.
You probably wonder how much faster and resource friendly Twitter Lite really is. According to Twitter, Twitter Lite offers up to 30% faster startup times, takes less than 1 Megabyte on the device, and loads a lot quicker on slower or unreliable connections because of this.
Today, we are rolling out Twitter Lite, a new mobile web experience which minimizes data usage, loads quickly on slower connections, is resilient on unreliable mobile networks, and takes up less than 1MB on your device. We also optimized it for speed, with up to 30% faster launch times as well as quicker navigation throughout Twitter.
Twitter Lite is interactive in under 5 seconds over 3G on most devices. Most of the world is using 2G or 3G networks; a fast initial experience is essential. Over the last 3 months we’ve reduced average load times by over 30% and 99th percentile time-to-interactive latency by over 25%.
Twitter Lite reduces data use by default, serving smaller media resources and relying on cached data. We’ve optimized images to reduce their impact on data usage by as much as 40% as you scroll through a timeline
Twitter Lite supports key features of Twitter, including tweets and direct messaging, user profiles, media (including uploads), notifications, and timeline access
Other key features supported by Twitter Lite (on Google Chrome and other modern browsers on Android) are push notifications and offline support.
Twitter Lite improves the resource use of Twitter. While it is designed for low bandwidth or unreliable Internet connections, it can be used anywhere to save data or simply speed up the loading and responsiveness of Twitter.
Props to Twitter for not geo-restricting the feature.