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  • Writer's pictureDavid Coggin

Introducing Twitter Fleets: Tweets that Disappear After 24 Hours 👀

Twitter confirmed it’s testing a new feature called “Fleets,” its own version of Instagram Stories that disappear after 24 hours. 

According to Twitter’s announcement, the feature is currently being trialed in Brazil and will users post ephemeral content to its social network for the first time. 

Unlike Tweets, Twitter Fleets can’t receive Likes, Replies, or Retweets. And they’ll disappear entirely after 24 hours.

Here’s everything you need to know about Twitter Fleets:

What are Twitter Fleets?

The “stories format” has proven quite popular since Snapchat first rolled onto the scene in 2011 — it’s been adapted for Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and, most recently, Twitter.

According to Twitter’s announcement, “Starting today in Brazil, we’re testing Fleets, a new way to start conversations from your fleeting thoughts.”

The announcement goes on to explain that Fleets, like Instagram Stories, give users a venue to share casual, everyday thoughts without stressing over the permanence of those thoughts. 

“Some people say they feel insecure to Tweet because Tweets are public, permanent, and exhibit public engagement counts (likes and Retweets). We want to make it possible for you to have conversations on the platform in new ways, with less pressure, and more control.”

Hence, “Fleets” — which, if you hadn’t guessed already, stands for “fleeting Tweets.”

So what makes Fleets different than regular Tweets?

Well, unlike regular Tweets, Fleets disappear after 24 hours and can’t be retweeted, liked, or receive public comments. 

A user’s Fleets will appear at the top of their home page (in a nearly identical fashion to Instagram Stories), and anyone who can access your full profile will also be able to find your Fleets there. 

If your DMs are open, people will be able to react to your Fleets with a text-based message or emoji. 

How to Share a Twitter Fleet

At the moment, Twitter Fleets are only being tested in Brazil — so you may not have access to feature yet (unless, of course, you live in Brazil!). In any case, here’s how to post your first Fleet:

  • To create a Fleet, start by tapping the “+” button that appears at the top of your Fleets feed (just like you would on Instagram Stories).

  • From here, you can type up to 280 characters of text or add photos, GIFs, or videos.

  • Once you hit “post,” your fleet will appear in an Instagram Stories-like feed at the top of people’s feeds.

What Twitter Fleets Mean for Businesses

It’s clear from Twitter’s announcement that their hope for Fleets is that it will entice more users to engage on the platform — particularly those who aren’t as comfortable sharing regular (permanent) Tweets.

This could very well be the case, but it really depends on how many people adopt the feature (and how often they use it). For instance, while Instagram Stories was a near-instant hit, Facebook Stories has been slower to gain traction.

Since Fleets are only recently being tested, it’s difficult to say how it will play out. Twitter says as much in their announcement, writing that depending on how the test goes, Fleets may (or may not) make it to other countries.

That being said, you can check out the Twitter-owned hashtag #FleetsFeedback to browse user feedback on the feature (just keep in mind that most of the Tweets are in Portuguese).

So should businesses jump on the trend?

It’s too soon to say but we’re definitely hopeful! Ephemeral content is one of the biggest social media success stories in recent years, and Twitter might be able to ride that success with Fleets. 

Have you tried the new feature? Let me know what you think in the comments! 

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