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(Pocket-lint) - Virgin Media was one of the first companies to offer access to popular apps that don't use up any of your data allowance.

For a while, customers on its Virgin Mobile plans have been able to use Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp as much as they like, without any impact on their data. Now it is adding Twitter to the mix, giving an all-round portfolio of "data-free" social media accessibility.

The only aspect of Twitter that cannot be used data-free is live video streaming, but everything else, including watching posted videos within the app, will not come out of your allowance.

Sending and posting images and the like is all included.

"Our customers want more than extra texts and minutes," said Virgin Media's managing director of mobile.

"We want to focus our services towards how our customers use their devices and live their lives, giving them value that they can see and understand. That’s why we’ve expanded our data-free social offering to include Twitter which, when combined with fast 4G and data rollover, is transforming the future of social messaging on mobile and ensuring our customers never have to worry about keeping connected to the things and people they love."

The move comes on the back of Three's announcement that it is also offering data-free access to certain apps. In Three's case, it is focusing on video streaming services rather than social media. It offers Netflix and TV Player streaming outside of the data allowance on certain plans, although you will still need to pay a monthly subscription for the former.

Writing by Rik Henderson. Originally published on 7 July 2017.