Twitter's new feature known as Fleets

Kayvon Beykpour/Twitter (Fair Use) Mikael Thalen

Twitter introduces ‘Fleets,’ its take on Instagram stories

The social media site has rolled the feature out to users in Brazil for testing.

Mar 4, 2020, 2:46 pm*

Tech

Mikael Thalen 

Mikael Thalen

Twitter introduced a new feature known as “Fleets” on Wednesday that appears to be the platform’s take on Instagram Stories.

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Kayvon Beykpour, product lead at Twitter, revealed that users in Brazil will be given access to the experimental feature in an effort to gauge how the function is received.

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Fleets, unlike normal tweets, disappear after 24 hours and can only be seen if a user taps on your avatar. Fleets can not be retweeted, liked, or commented on either, but can be responded to through direct messaging, Beykpour adds.

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The feature came in response to feedback from users who expressed anxiety about tweeting due to the fact that regular tweets “can be seen and replied to by anybody, feel permanent and performative.”

Fleets can include straight text, photos, and videos, but fancier features seen on other apps have been excluded to keep Fleets simple for the time being.

Admitting that Fleets were noticeably similar to Instagram Stories, Beykpour noted that Twitter added additional features to make the experience unique.

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“Yes, there are many similarities with the Stories format that will feel familiar to people,” Beykpour said. “There are also a few intentional differences to make the experience more focused on sharing and seeing people’s thoughts.”

Beykpour described the potential adoption of Fleets as “a substantial change to Twitter,” a feature that was first popularized by Snapchat and has since found its way to major platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

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

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Whether Fleets will be brought to a wider audience likely depends, at least in part, on how it’s received in Brazil over the next few months.

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*First Published: Mar 4, 2020, 2:42 pm