After Snapchat popularised limited-time content other platforms have been endlessly copying it with the likes of Facebook and Instagram implementing Stories. Now Twitter is having a go at the idea with what it calls “Fleets”.
Fleets, as you may have guessed, are Tweets which delete themselves after a certain amount of time. This initial rollout of Fleets will allows users with access to make content which is gone after 24 hours.
As revealed in the tweet below this new way to share is live but not for everyone right now. Here in South Africa we don’t see it available, and if you’re in the same boat all you can do is wait patiently and keep your app updated.
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
From the video above we can see a bit more of Fleets’ functionality such as support for pictures and video. We can also learn a bit more on the Twitter blog announcement.
Here we can learn why Twitter felt the need to implement Fleets, aside from trying to follow Snapchat and others. According to Design Director Joshua Harris and Product Manager Sam Haveson:
“..some of you tell us that Tweeting is uncomfortable because it feels so public, so permanent, and like there’s so much pressure to rack up Retweets and Likes. That’s why, unfortunately, there are so many ? Tweets left in drafts! To help people feel more comfortable, we’ve been working on a lower pressure way for people to talk about what’s happening,”
While we do understand the rationale here everyone should know by now that anything put onto the internet is permanent. Even if Twitter blocks screen capture on Fleets enterprising amateur “historians” will find a way to capture Fleets regardless.
That aside any functionality that’s optional and can be ignored should be welcome, though Harris and Haveson do share that Fleets will appear right at the top of the Twitter screen much like Stories have a dominant presence on Facebook and Instagram. Hopefully this can be customised for those not interested in them.