By: Nick Gambino
It was only a matter of time before Twitter followed in step with the rest of the social media world with their very own vanishing posts. The 280-character-only platform has confirmed that they are testing ephemeral tweets and that they will be calling them “fleets.”
I kind of love the name, even if I’m not a big fan of this self-destructing post trend that Snapchat started. My thing is, if you posted it, just own it and leave it there. And if you really don’t want to keep it up for some reason, manually delete it. Maybe I’m just old. Scratch that – I’m definitely just old.
Well, apparently there are younger, more hip Twitter users who are interested in this type of feature, at least that’s what the folks over at Twitter are saying.
“Twitter is for having conversations about what you care about,” Twitter group product manager, Mo Aladham, explained in a translated blog post announcing the fleet feature. “But, some of you tell us that you’re uncomfortable [tweeting] because tweets are public, feel permanent, and have public counts (retweets and likes). We want to make it possible for you to have conversations in new ways with less pressure and more control, beyond tweets and direct messages. That’s why starting today in Brazil, we’re testing fleets, a new way to start conversations from your fleeting thoughts.”
Twitter has one of the fastest post expirations of any of the big social media platforms. Meaning, in the mind of Twitter users, a tweet has a short lifespan (probably about 15 minutes), thanks to the number of tweets produced in a single day. Facebook and Instagram are allowed to breathe a little. So, these new “fleets” fit comfortably into the current fast-paced vibe of Twitter.
If you’re in Brazil, you might be curious as to how to use the new feature. It’s quite simple – just tap the little plus sign at the top of the app. This will bring up the fleet screen where you can type text (up to 280 characters, naturally) and also add images, videos and GIFs.
Your fleet will appear in a row at the top with fleets from people you follow, much like Stories in Instagram. Unlike normal tweets, you won’t be able to like or retweet these fleets. You will, however, be able to respond to a fleet with an appropriate emoji.
Twitter has struggled in recent years, so it’s nice to see them trying new things, even if this one isn’t entirely original.