Last week Google announced an update to Data Saver mode in Chrome on Android designed to make loading web pages on a slow wireless connection easier. The update will remove most images when loading a page on a slow connection, reducing data consumption by up to 70 percent, Google claimed.
After a page has loaded, users can tap to show all images or just the ones they want. Chrome users in India and Indonesia will get the update first. It will be rolled out elsewhere in the coming months.
According to research firm Frost & Sullivan, the reason that India and Indonesia were selected for the launch is because the primary objective is to target regions that have less advanced wireless networks. This would drive traffic to sites that users normally find difficult to access because of bandwidth constraints, and thereby drive up ad revenues.
India and Indonesia are being targeted first "probably because the infrastructure simply isn't there to support a lot of high-bandwidth data," said a research manager at Frost & Sullivan. "If it works there, it'll work anywhere," he added. When Data Saver is enabled, Google's servers cut the amount of data downloaded when users visit a webpage. How much data is cut depends on the type of content on the page.
Secure pages, the URLs of which begin with https and incognito pages load without any reduction in the amount of data transmitted. Some websites may not be able to determine a user's location accurately when Data Saver is turned on, Google said. In some cases, images might look a bit fuzzy when Data Saver's enabled. Corporate intranets and other internal websites might also not get loaded, the company said. And, users might have problems logging in to their mobile carrier's website. Sites that do not adjust will likely lose a substantial amount of traffic as they either become unusable or unattractive or both.