Twitter officially unveils lite version for PH users

Arlene Burgos, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 14 2017 11:38 AM | Updated as of Jun 14 2017 05:03 PM

Twitter, Globe, and Smart officials during the launch of Twitter Lite Wednesday in Manila. From left: Smart Communication's VP for Digital Products & Partnership Harvey Libarnes; Twitter's Tina Pang and Dwi Adriansah, Head of Sales-SEA and Head of Business Development for SEA and Australia, respectively; and Globe's Prepaid Brand Director Popo Yambao.

MANILA (UPDATE) - Micro-blogging platform Twitter officially rolled out Wednesday for Philippine users its leaner, mobile browser-based version especially developed for slow internet environments. 

Partnering with telecommunication companies Globe and Smart, both of which will offer the service as part of existing or standalone new thrift data packs, Twitter executives pitched 'Twitter Lite' as a new way for outlying Philippine provinces or places where there are poor or unstable internet connection to be updated immediately with entertainment news and information. 

The Philippines is only the third country where Twitter is making a formal announcement about Twitter Lite, after India and Indonesia, although its existence was globally announced this April. 

Tina Pang, Southeast Asia head of sales, said they chose the Philippines because of the importance Twitter attaches to the country as a high-growth area. 

In April, Twitter said in its blog that the Lite version "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," Twitter said. 

Asked why Twitter Lite was not developed as a feature or version of its existing mobile app which comes as a native for iPhones and downloadable via Play Store for Android phones, head of Business Development for SEA and Australia Dwi Adriansah said Twitter would like to focus on trends like growing of user base using the mobile browser. 

With the Lite, one may use most features of Twitter by logging on to the site via mobile browser. These features include one's timeline, tweets, and messages. 

Globe and Smart announced separate custom Twitter timelines accessible through their data packs. 

Website statista.com says there are 8.5 million Twitter users in the Philippines currently, and that this number may grow to 10.4 million in 2019.