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Twitter for iPhone Is A Data-Hungry App, Onavo Study Claims

According to a new report by mobile data monitoring tool Onavo, Twitter's official client for iPhone is the most data consuming app when compared to unofficial solutions like Echofon, Tweetbot, or the recently acquired TweetDeck. By taking in consideration data from mobile devices using Onavo's data compression and monitoring services in different countries, with different Twitter clients, the company has found out that in average situations (which they call a "simple scenario") like loading a timeline or a trending topic, Twitter for iPhone generally ranks higher in the list of apps that consume more data, presumably over 3G. According to the study's results, Twitter for iPhone averages on 193 KB data usage for a simple scenario, whist Echofon's app ranks #2 with 163 KB. Tapbots' popular Twitter client Tweetbot is seen needing 112 KB on average to load a timeline or trend, and TweetDeck's iPhone app is considered the most lightweight of all four clients with only 86 KB consumed. In the same report, Onavo also claims their software can help users save 65% of TweetDeck's data usage as well.

Other interesting data points from the study:

  • 34% of users in Spain have a Twitter app; 22% in the United States.
  • China's Twitter app usage is 7% according to Onavo's stats.
  • Of all Onavo users, 65% of them use the official Twitter app. TweetDeck, Tweetbot and Echofon are the most popular unofficial clients with share floating between 6% and 8%.

Obviously, Onavo's study isn't based on universal iPhone usage -- rather, it only accounts for those users who have modified their device's network settings to route data through Onavo's proxy, which then communicates with an iPhone app to display data usage over time, and also claims to reduce data consumption by compressing requests coming through their network. It would also be interesting to know why the official Twitter app consumes more data than others -- could be because it loads more tweets by default, or uses a different set of APIs. Check out the complete infographic here.

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