After months of worldwide testing, Twitter has launched its new “Fleets” feature that was first announced earlier this year. Any Twitter user who uses the mobile app can now utilize the familiar disappearing messaging feature. Much like its other Stories-like counterparts, it will sit above the user’s main timeline.
What We Know:
- The popular social media company is hopeful that the introduction of Fleets will help “reduce the pressure” of tweeting and allow its users to express more casual thoughts and feelings without the nagging concern of having many retweets and likes. The company says both Android and IOS devices will start having access starting Tuesday, November 17th, and will continue to roll out in the coming days.
Design director Joshua Harris stated in a blog post “Through our tests in Brazil, Italy, India, and South Korea, we learned Fleets helped people feel more comfortable joining the conversation — we saw people with Fleets talk more on Twitter.”
- Fleets are essentially a “Stories” clone that’s already been seen in Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook. Disappearing 24 hours after they’re created, Fleets will allow anyone to share text, posts responses to tweets, post videos, and overlay various other features. The move lights the way for future stickers and live broadcasting features.
- Fleets’ apparent aim is to give Twitter users more digestible ways of consuming content. This year has proven to strain social media networks who are overwhelmingly flooded with ideas, opinions, and chatter. Fleets should theoretically help organize that content better. Though the feature is nothing new in the social media realm, it has the potential to change how we communicate online.
- Of course, when adding a feature, new or not, there will be those that try to push the boundaries on what is posted on these Fleets. This will prompt the company to begin diving into some new moderation challenges, which will deal with inevitable topics of increasing harassment, the spread of false information, and other explicit content that may appear on Fleets.
That thing you didn’t Tweet but wanted to but didn’t but got so close but then were like nah.
We have a place for that now—Fleets!
Rolling out to everyone starting today. pic.twitter.com/auQAHXZMfH
— Twitter (@Twitter) November 17, 2020
- The early days of Fleets will be crucial when determining if the new feature is something Twitter users want and will be used in any considerable way. Although Stories have taken over many of our favorite apps since Snapchat, who unintentionally redefined the social media game a few years ago, it’s changed how many influencers and brands are marketing themselves. Bigger companies have benefitted from this boom, but as it’s been observed with other Stories clones such as Facebook, YouTube, and even LinkedIn, Fleets may also die off.
- Along with Fleets, Twitter also announced “Spaces,” virtual rooms where people can engage in real-time and have audio conversations, much like the startup that appeared earlier this year called Clubhouse.
Many avid users question whether the features are essential for this particular platform. Still, most agree that the less stressful nature of just putting one’s thoughts out there without popularity pressure could mean a healthier communication environment. This is especially true during times where political figures use the platform to spout factual and non-factual remarks alike.