Twitter eyes SA growth with Lite app

23 June 2017

Digital Content

Cape Town - Twitter is eyeing its Lite application to grow in South Africa to mitigate the cost of data.

In an exclusive interview with Fin24, Twitter senior director Barry Collins said that the company has observed high growth of its service in SA, and is excited about the launch of its lower data application.

"Twitter Lite is clearly a great solution for many parts of Africa today. While we see very strong smartphone usage of Twitter in South Africa, we do expect that large groups of new users will utilise the Twitter Lite client before migrating to the full experiences as more advanced mobile technologies becomes available to them," Collins said.

The launch of Twitter Lite follows other social networks which have launched low-bandwidth applications to counter the high cost of data in SA specifically, and Africa in general.

Facebook also has a "Lite" application and Google typically hosts popular videos locally to save on bandwidth and increase performance. The search giant also makes a low bandwidth-friendly Gmail application and allows Maps users to save local areas for offline use.

Platforms like Twitter are seeing increasing adoption, especially during times of regional crisis.

During the recent Cape storms and Knysna fires, many users took to Twitter and Facebook to tell friends and family that they were safe or to indicate areas where the fires or storm had caused damage.

"Twitter is both a unique service for our users and a multi-billion dollar revenue business. We are making sure that we are building something that people want to use every single day and that they value every single day. We are proving that we are doing that with the growth numbers we have been sharing in our earnings," said Collins.

"We are focused on making sure that when you go to Twitter you see what is going on faster than any other service. And as we get better and better, Twitter should be the place that you hear about things first across the world.

"Over 70% of Twitter users are outside of the US and we build our product, content and live experiences with that in mind. Twitter continues to be the place to find out what is happening in the world, your continent, your city or your neighbourhood," he added.

Source: All Africa