Twitter has introduced a new, speedier version of its site for the mobile web and dubbed it Twitter Lite. Focused on emerging markets and users in environments with unreliable connectivity, Twitter Lite takes up less than a megabyte and comes with a further data-saver mode that blurs images and videos until they’re tapped. Twitter says the Lite version will load to the point of interactivity in under five seconds on most 3G devices, and claims that it can save up to 70 percent on data while loading 30 percent faster.
Twitter Lite is a Progressive Web App (PWA); the company says it was developed in partnership with Google. It has additional features on Android such as push notifications, and if you add it to your phone as a home screen shortcut it’ll appear in the app drawer just like a native app. You can add it to the iOS home screen, too, of course, but you’ll miss out on notifications.
The web app works similarly to a native app, with all the features you’d expect like the regular feed, notifications list, and tabs for search and direct messaging. Touch response is noticeably slower compared to the native iOS and Android apps, but overall Twitter Lite is extremely usable. It’s also pretty good on desktop in a narrow window — it certainly compares favorably to Twitter’s official, neglected Mac and Windows apps.
Twitter Lite is available globally, and many people will end up accessing it without realizing — it’s the new standard mobile web experience for Twitter. You can try it right now by going to mobile.twitter.com.