Twitter has introduced Twitter Lite, a mobile browser-friendly version that caters for those who worry about expensive data and slow internet connectivity like most South Africa.

Every day, millions of people around the world use the micro-blogging site to see what’s happening right now. However, there are several barriers to using Twitter, including slow mobile networks, expensive data plans, or lack of storage on mobile devices. While smartphone adoption grew to 3.8 billion connections by the end of 2016, 45% of mobile connections are still on slower 2G networks, according to GSMA.

Today, the company is 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.

In addition, Twitter has added a data saver mode, which further reduces the amount of mobile data used. In this mode, users will see a preview of images and videos before choosing which ones to fully load. This can reduce data usage by up to 70%, making it more affordable for you to use Twitter in areas where mobile data is expensive.

Twitter Lite has additional features in Google Chrome and other modern browsers on Android devices. It also offers offline support, so you will not be interrupted while using Twitter if you temporarily lose your connection. You can also add Twitter Lite to your device’s home screen, so you can launch Twitter quickly with just one tap.

In South Africa, just over 50% of the country’s population have access to the internet and majority are using it to access social media networks with Facebook being the most prolific.

South African Social Media Landscape 2016 study conducted by World Wide Worx and Fuseware revealed that Twitter is the 2nd most popular social network in South Africa

  • 13 million Facebook users
  • 7.4 million Twitter users
  • 8.28 million YouTube users
  • 2.68 million Instagram users


Will Twitter Lite drive growth in the number of users in in South Africa and the continent?