Instagram’s Stories format, which the company copied from Snapchat, made a huge splash last decade. And as you’d expect, every other app in the world started copying that idea. It started showing up on Facebook, and if that wasn’t enough, even LinkedIn is getting Stories soon.
Twitter, on the other hand, has been a little reluctant on adding a Stories-like format to its social network. The company is rumored to have been working on a Stories-like format for more than a year, and it’s now testing a new feature called Fleets.
Twitter Fleets is a Stories-like format that introduces the ability to send disappearing tweets. Like stories, fleets disappear after 24 hours, and they only show up at the top of the timeline. Twitter’s experience for viewing fleets seems a little different from the usual stories experience, and that’s probably a good thing.
Unlike regular tweets, users will not be able to like/retweet/reply to fleets, and you can only reply or react to fleets via direct messages. “People often tell us that they don’t feel comfortable Tweeting because Tweets can be seen and replied to by anybody, feel permanent and performative (how many Likes & Retweets will this get!?,” said Kayvon Beykpour, who’s the product lead at Twitter.
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. Today, in Brazil only, we’re starting a test (on Android and iOS) for one of those new capabilities. It’s called Fleets. pic.twitter.com/6MLs8irb0c
— Kayvon Beykpour (@kayvz) March 4, 2020
I, for one, really love this idea, and can’t wait for Twitter to roll it out to everyone. The feature is currently only being tested with users in Brazil, however. It will be interesting to see how fleets will work on Twitter on the desktop and web, though. But more importantly, I am very curious to see how people who don’t follow you can view your fleets. It’s possible Twitter will completely disallow people from viewing your fleets until they start following you. We shall see.