Twitter announces new ‘Fleets’ feature

Photo (c) Roman Stavila - Getty Images

The tool lets users share ‘momentary thoughts’ that disappear after 24 hours

Twitter has launched a new feature called “Fleets” that lets users share text, photo, and video content that will disappear from the platform in 24 hours. 

Twitter said it developed the new feature after hearing from users that tweeting sometimes feels “uncomfortable because it feels so public, so permanent.” The company is touting the new feature as a “lower pressure way for people to talk about what’s happening.” 

“We're launching Fleets so everyone can easily join the conversation in a new way – with their fleeting thoughts,” Twitter’s design director, Joshua Harris, and product manager, Sam Haveson, wrote in a blog post.

Ephemeral format

The feature was tested in Brazil, Italy, India, and South Korea prior to going live in the U.S. on Wednesday. Twitter said Fleets users reported feeling more comfortable using the platform.

“Because they disappear from view after a day, fleets helped people feel more comfortable sharing personal and casual thoughts, opinions, and feelings,” Haveson said.

The new tool is similar to the “Stories” features on both Instagram and Snapchat. Fleets will be displayed at the top of users’ home timelines, as well as on the sender’s full profile. Users can respond to Fleets via direct message. 

“To share a Tweet in a Fleet, tap the ‘Share’ icon at the bottom of the Tweet and then tap, ‘Share in Fleet,’” the company explained. “Then, add what you think about it with some text or emojis.”

Some users said the new feature creates the potential for online harassment, for example though allowing unwanted direct messages. Twitter said it’s listening to user feedback and will improve the new tool over time. 

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