Twitter announced on Wednesday that it would be testing a new sharing format called ‘Fleets’. Users would now be able to post tweets that would disappear after 24 hours. The social media platform’s new feature would be in the same vein as Instagram’s and Facebook’s stories.
The new feature has been introduced to address the growing concern among Twitter users of their normal tweets being public and permanent. According to Twitter, users won’t be able to retweet other users’ ‘Fleets’ and they would permanently disappear after 24 hours. Due to the fleeting nature of this feature, it has been given the title ‘Fleets’.
‘Fleets’ won’t be completely private as users would be able to see the Fleet of a person if they visit their profile. But their Fleet won’t circulate on Twitter’s network, show up in Search or Moments, and it can’t be embedded on an external website.
Twitter is one of the last major social media platforms to try a stories type feature. The ‘stories’ feature was popularised by Snapchat, and was later adopted by Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube. WhatsApp also has the stories feature under the ‘Status’ name. The music streaming app Spotify announced a stories type feature recently.
Like the stories feature, Fleets would appear at the top of the Twitter mobile app interface. Users would be able to click on the ‘+’ button to post a fleet. Unlike the stories feature on Instagram ‘Fleets’ would focus more on texts than photos or videos. Though, the users would be able to add photos, videos, and GIFs to their Fleet. Users will be able to post multiple Fleets at a time and view them using hand gestures just like stories.
Another difference between ‘Fleets’ and stories is that instead of moving horizontally to another story, users on Twitter will have to swipe vertically to view another Fleet. Though, Twitter says that it’s open to making changes to the feature depending on the customer feedback in Brazil, where it has been made available.
The viewers of another user’s Fleet can reply to it if the Direct Messaging (DM) has been switched on by the user posting the Fleet. Users will also be able to reply to Fleets using emojis, just like in stories.
Twitter has already made the “Fleets” feature available to Brazilian users on both iOS and Android, following the app’s update. The test will run for a few months before Twitter decides to roll out it out to other global markets.