#RIPTwitter: What are ‘Fleets’ and Why are Twitter Users Mad About it?

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Similar to Facebook and Instagram Stories, Twitter is testing a vanishing tweet feature. Called ‘Fleets’, the feature allows users make posts that will disappear after 24 hours.

Twitter is Testing a New ‘Original Tweeter’ Label to Make It Easier to Follow Threads

According to Twitter, the new feature will allow Twitter users to share more fleeting thoughts. The feature was announced on Wednesday and is currently being tested in Brazil.

More fleeting tweets

Since 2006, Twitter has only had the tweet feature of posting on the platform. But that’s all about to change. The company is trying out ‘Fleets’ which is synonymous with the stories on other social platforms. And like stories on those platforms, they also disappear after 24 hours.

Just like other platforms, the Fleets are displayed in a separate timeline above the main timeline. They also appear when the user’s profile picture is clicked.

The fleet feature, like the tweet, is a 280-character post. However, users will not be able to retweet, like, or publicly comment on the fleets.

Users can, however, respond to fleets with messages that will open up in the direct messaging (DM). They can also use the reaction emoji which was recently introduced to the DM.

Speaking on the new feature, Twitter’s Product Lead, Kayvon Beykpour,
said tweets can feel permanent and performative, which can intimidate some users. He elaborated that fleets would allow users to post thoughts they might have felt uncomfortable tweeting publicly.

“We’re hoping that Fleets can help people share the fleeting thoughts that they would have been unlikely to Tweet”

He also explained that although the fleets feature sounded like Facebook stories that they were making several intentional differences in their version.

How to create Fleets

Fleets, like tweets, are pretty easy to create. Twitter has added a plus button to the new home row of vanishing posts on top of users’ timeline. A page will open where users can type in text or add photos, GIFs, or videos.

#RIPTwitter: Users React as Twitter Tests Vanishing Tweet Feature Called 'Fleets'

Immediately, the user clicks the post button, the fleet will appear in a ranked side-scrolling row of posts. The fleets will then be visible to people who follow the users.

Twitter Users React

Some Twitter users, however, did not appreciate the new feature, as the announcement prompted the trending of the #RIPTwitter hashtag.

Some users complained the new feature would make the platform too similar to Facebook and other social media platforms.

https://twitter.com/Awholedripp/status/1235433132037414912

Some others viewed that adding stories removed twitters originality, which could propagate their death.

https://twitter.com/kingsman_tm/status/1235480470097453056

While a significant number of users raised displeasure that what they requested for was an edit button and not stories.

https://twitter.com/thetalkativeNG/status/1235454100181049345

However, there are a select few that feel the addition was good and that it will help them advertise their goods and craft on the platform.

Over the last couple of years, Stories have become more popular on social media platforms. Stories seem to encourage a different kind of sharing from the main post which attracts more public performance.

Although Twitter is joining the party late, The addition of fleets appears like a ploy to win some of the users it lost to Instagram and Facebook because of the disposable and more casual nature of stories.

However, with the growing cry against it on twitter, it is unknown if twitter will still go ahead with rolling it out globally, hoping users come to fall in love with it. Or if they will totally scrap it out.


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