Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) has launched a new service called “Twitter Zero.” This service lets users in emerging markets see a stripped down version of Twitter and use the service without incurring data charges. Twitter has slightly under 100 total deals with mobile operators, according to TechCrunch. Some of the mobile carriers that are working with Twitter on this project include Ucell (Uzbek), Mobilink (Pakistan), Reliance Communications (India), and Ncell (Nepal). Other partners include Vodafone, Smart (Philippines), XL Axiata (Indonesia), and Turkcell.
Twitter is calling the Twitter Zero project “Twitter Access” internally and on its website. However, the mobile carriers refer to the service as Twitter Zero. Twitter Access launched in 2012 and it was part of the company’s international strategy as pointed out by AllThingsD.
The mobile carriers will remove the mobile data charges for a limited time. The time frame varies on a per carrier basis, but it sounds like that it is for a few months. Facebook Zero, Facebook’s equivalent initiative, charges Facebook Zero users when they click to view photos or browse to another mobile site that is away from 0.facebook.com. For the campaign period, Twitter Zero will operate in the same way–users can browse the Twitter mobile website (mobile.twitter.com) without incurring data charges. If they download media or click a link, they will be reminded that standard data charges will be applied.