less than half of American adults currently own a smartphone. Many of the rest of us are still toting around simple feature phones with much more basic capabilities. But that doesn't mean those folks don't want to use Twitter, too.When we talk about the mobile Web and apps, we're almost always talking about smartphones. Android and iOS and their competitors are getting most of the innovation these days, but it's worth recalling that
It's with this reality in mind that Twitter has updated its mobile Web site to cater to non-smartphone-owning Tweeters. Now somebody carrying around a Nokia feature phone, for example, will have an experience using Twitter that is much more akin to how an iPhone user would see it in mobile Safari. The design is adapted from the "new Twitter" redesign that rolled out late last year.
This is certainly an improvement from a user-experience standpoint, and it also makes the service a bit more accessible and consistent overall.
The goal is to "make Twitter the most accessible way to connect with the world, even with the weakest signals and the simplest devices," writes Twitter VP of Product Satya Patel.
Unlike many of the service's competitors, the team behind Twitter has been mindful of the needs of feature phone owners since day one. When Twitter launched, smartphone penetration was a fraction of what it is today and using Twitter via SMS messages was central to its early product development.
Smartphone adoption has grown rapidly, of course, but feature phones won't disappear in the U.S. overnight.
There's also the rest of the planet. As mobile phone usage grows in the developing world, basic feature phones are often all that most people can afford, so they use them for multiple forms of communication and to access basic websites. And just because people don't have smartphones, doesn't mean they don't want to take advantage of Twitter, for everything from social networking to political activism.
Twitter's new feature-phone-friendly site can be accessed from Web-connected feature phones by navigating to mobile.twitter.com.
Lead photo by Stuart Frisby.