Twitter has launched a test of “fleets,” ephemeral tweets that self-destruct after 24 hours — a concept first popularized by Snapchat’s Stories.
Twitter said the new format is for “fleeting thoughts,” which users may not want permanently nailed up as tweets. Fleets will disappear 24 hours after they’re posted, and there’s no ability for others to retweet, like or publicly comment on them.
“One of the unique things about Twitter is that ‘what’s happening’ is fueled by people sharing their thoughts openly, through Tweets. But sharing your thoughts publicly can be intimidating!” Twitter product lead Kayvon Beykpour wrote in a post. “We’ve been listening to this feedback and working to create new capabilities that address some of the anxieties that hold people back from talking on Twitter.”
The company is launching fleets first in Brazil, “one of the countries where people talk the most on Twitter,” the company said. Twitter will evaluate the test-run of fleets in Brazil before deciding to take it elsewhere.
According to Twitter, an initial survey of users showed they would be more comfortable “sharing everyday thoughts” if they disappear after 24 hours.
Like tweets, Twitter fleets are based primarily on text, but you also can include videos, GIFs or photos in them. A user’s followers will be able to see their Fleets at the top of their home page. Other users can reply to a Fleet via direct message.
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Twitter is late to the disappearing-content game: Snap introduced Snapchat Stories back in 2013. Instagram launched a copycat in 2016 (a year after that Facebook itself did as well).
The trial launch of Fleets comes after Twitter last month acquired Chroma Labs, a startup founded by three ex-Facebook employees that developed an app for editing photos and videos posted to Snapchat Stories or Instagram Stories.
Beykpour shared an example of what Twitter’s Fleets look like:
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