Twitter wants a taste of the success Facebook is experiencing globally. For that to happen it needs to embed itself firmly in the feature phone; still the primary device used in developing markets to access the mobile internet. So Twitter is following in Facebook’s footsteps by partnering up with MediaTek.
The Taiwanese silicon vendor has agreed to include Twitter’s mobile application into the run-time environment software it ships with every chipset, just as it did for Facebook and the Opera Mini browser. That means the handset makers designing devices around MediaTek’s chipset can make Twitter a pre-installed app optimized for the minimal memory and processing capabilities of a feature phone.
Currently Twitter runs on OS-less phones, but not as a native app. It has tweaked its mobile Web site to work on less sophisticated browsers and any user can send and receive tweets via SMS. By offering a more readily accessible app – as well as brokering preferential treatment deals for its data traffic with carriers – it can tap into a huge potential market. In the developing world, far fewer people have access to PCs, and smartphones (and their requisite data plans) are an unaffordable luxury. Even in North America and Europe, big percentages of the populace haven’t yet made the move to smartphones. If Twitter is going to get at those customers, it needs to do it through the feature phone.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock user Julien Tromeur