Ever since Snapchat stories became popular around the world, several other social media giants, such as Facebook, Whatsapp and Instagram, have been experimenting with content that disappears after 24 hours. Twitter is the latest to join the bandwagon. The micro-blogging site Twitter on Tuesday launched its much-anticipated ‘Fleets’ feature in India which will allow users to share tweets, photos and videos that will last 24 hours on their profile.
India is among the first markets after Brazil to get this new feature.
What are Fleets?
The ‘story’ feature has been there on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Whatsapp, and plenty of other apps for some time now. Twitter’s version of Stories allows you to share posts you would want to upload for a short while. Much like the other social media platforms, the Twitter version is called Fleets and can be viewed by anyone if the Twitter profile is public and appears at the top of the Twitter feed. Fleets option is a self-disappearing tweet similar to Instagram Stories that will vanish in 24 hours and will not have retweets, likes or public comments.
The company first announced the feature in March and India is among the first few countries where it will be tested.
Why was Fleets introduced?
Announcing the feature on his Twitter, product lead of the site and co-founder of Periscope, Kayvon Beykpour introduced it for the Indian users.
He wrote :
“Every day, people come to Twitter to see what’s happening. One of the unique things about Twitter is that “what’s happening” is fueled by people sharing their thoughts openly, through Tweets. But sharing your thoughts publicly can be intimidating!”
“People often tell us that they don’t feel comfortable Tweeting because Tweets can be seen and replied to by anybody, feel permanent and performative (how many Likes & Retweets will this get!?)”
“We’ve been listening to this feedback and working to create new capabilities that address some of the anxieties that hold people back from talking on Twitter. Today, in Brazil only, we’re starting a test (on Android and iOS) for one of those new capabilities. It’s called Fleets.”
“Fleets are a way to share fleeting thoughts. Unlike Tweets, Fleets disappear after 24 hours and don’t get Retweets, Likes, or public replies– people can only react to your Fleets with DMs. Instead of showing up in people’s timelines, Fleets are viewed by tapping on your avatar.”
“I know what you’re thinking: “THIS SOUNDS A LOT LIKE STORIES!”. Yes, there are many similarities with the Stories format that will feel familiar to people. There are also a few intentional differences to make the experience more focused on sharing and seeing people’s thoughts.”
And finally the rollout happened for India :
Arguing the feature is most useful for people who uncomfortable with public tweets, Mo Al Adham said: “People who don’t usually Tweet are starting more conversations and sending both Fleets and Tweets. When people send a Fleet, they often share a number of thoughts rapidly.”
Talking about the new addition in the platform based on user feedback, the company’s product manager said that they are seeing “people become more comfortable about sharing what’s on their minds”.
They called this roll out as part of its constant endeavour to make it possible for people “to have conversations in new ways with less pressure and more control”.
How does Fleets work?
Fleets are a new way to start conversations from your fleeting thoughts. Fleets disappear after 24 hours and don’t get Retweets, Likes, or public replies. Similar to Tweets, Fleets are text-first, but you can also add videos or photos. If you want to reply to a Fleet, tap on it to send a Direct Message or emoji, and continue the conversation in your DMs. Your followers can see your Fleets at the top of their home timeline. And anyone who can see your full profile can find your Fleets there. If you have open DMs, anyone can react to your Fleets. If you have protected Tweets, only people who follow you can see your Fleets at the top of their timeline or by clicking on your profile photo.
Check out this video to know more :
Fleets will also have a limit of 280 characters, like regular tweets, with the option to add images, videos, or GIFs, but users won’t be able to retweet, like, or publicly reply. People can reply to fleets through direct messages, if DMs are open.
Why Fleets is a great Feature?
Disappearing tweets may make users feel less anxious about their tweets coming back to haunt them, and that could indeed be a boon for some people’s mental health—the popularity of stories on other apps like Instagram, where there’s been a lot of focus on pressures to appear perfect, attests to this.
How to post a Fleet ?
You need to follow these simple to steps to be able to start posting fleeting posts on Twitter and up your social media game on Twitter too:
- Open Twitter on your Android or iOS smartphone
- Once you are on your Twitter feed, you will see a strip of encircled posts at the top of the feed. Much like Snapchat, Instagram and more, the users’ DP will appear with a blue circle, suggesting that a new Fleet has been posted by them
- You need to tap on your encircled profile picture right below your DP in the top left corner
- Once selected, you can write your ‘fleeting thought’ or upload a picture, video, or GIF by selecting these option below
- Once that is done, you need to tap on the Fleet option and you will be done
- Repeat the same process to add a new fleet.
- Incase you want to see how many people saw your uploaded fleet, just tap on your dp on upper left corner, and scroll down, here you will see your uploaded fleet and how many users have seen it.
As a reminder, Fleets will disappear from your Twitter after 24 hours and is currently available on Twitter for Android and iOS.
Will Fleets have advanced Features like Instagram?
At this stage, Fleets doesn’t have the additional visual presentation tools and AR functionality that most other Stories options have, but you can expect that Twitter will gradually evolve on this front as well, given the acquisition of Chroma Labs back in February, a company that was entirely focused on advanced Stories presentation.
What was the idea behind Fleets?
Twitter is where people go to see and talk about what’s happening. But, some people tell us that they’re uncomfortable to tweet because tweets are public, feel permanent, and have public counts (Retweets and Likes). There’s also the feeling that a good tweet has to have a lot of likes, RTs, and replies. We want to make it possible for people to have conversations in new ways with less pressure and more control, beyond tweets and Direct Messages. That’s why we are testing Fleets, a new way to start conversations from your fleeting thoughts with no likes, no retweets, no public replies, and no permanence.
As per Twitter:
- Fleets make it easier for people to share their thoughts
- People are finding it simpler to start convos with Fleets and are starting to Tweet/DM more too
- When people send a Fleet, they often share a number of thoughts rapidly
- It’s still *very early*, but we’re seeing less abuse with Fleets as only a small percentage are reported each day
Is Fleet feature available for all Indian users?
Fleets is available for everyone in India on Twitter for iOS and Android in the updated app versions.
Are Fleets Safe ?
Twitter says fleets will follow the same rules as other content on Twitter, and people can report them the same way they report tweets. Fleets won’t be available for anyone to see after 24 hours—there isn’t an archive, like on Instagram—but Twitter will hold onto them for cases of harassment, abuse, or issues that may involve law enforcement. “We’ll maintain a copy of Fleets for a limited time after they are deleted to enforce any rule violations and so people can appeal enforcement actions,” says Aly Pavela, a communications manager at Twitter. “Our Trust and Safety team uses their expertise and knowledge of observed behavior on the service as well as ongoing research to make sure we have safeguards and channels to route and address any violation of the Twitter Rules.”
Who can view your Fleets ?
Anyone can visit someone’s public Twitter profile and tap to view their Fleets, which, like Stories on other platforms, sit at the top of the screen.
When will Fleets be available Globally?
Twitter’s taking a staged approach to the roll out, which is similar to how LinkedIn is rolling out its own Stories feature. Last week, LinkedIn rolled out LinkedIn Stories to users in the UAE, following initial launches in Brazil and the Netherlands. That market-by-market approach gives them the opportunity to detect any issues, and refine the option before a bigger launch – but you would expect, in both cases, that they must be close to going all in.
Why Fleets are launched first in India ?
India is Twitter’s 8th biggest market, based on usage, with around 13 million Indians using the app. That’s a far cry from the 64 million Twitter users in the US, but in combination, Fleets will now be available to more than 30 million users, which is a significant test pool – and could end up being the jumping-off point for a full, global roll-out.
“India is important for Twitter since it is one of our largest and fastest-growing audience markets globally. We are excited to bring the Fleets experiment to India and make it one of the first three countries in the world to experience this new product,” said Manish Maheshwari, Managing Director at Twitter India, in a statement. “From the test in India, we’ll learn how adding a new mode of conversation changes the way Indians engage on Twitter. It’ll also be interesting to see if it further amplifies the diversity of usage by allowing people to share what they’re thinking in a way that is light-touch and light-hearted,” he added.
Public Opinion on Fleets
Indian Twitter was divided over the feature with some appreciating it and others criticizing it.
There are a lot of people who enjoyed this update and shared their satisfaction on Social Media. Here are a few :
It’s great to see Twitter introduced #FleetsFeedback , this is the best way to put your thoughts on Twitter that can filter out the not-so-relevant content like “feeling Monday blues”, “I’m on my way to some country”…— Roopa Madihally (@roopabdr) June 10, 2020
This is Super Awesome! Congratulations 💕 God bless 😇😇— Harjinder Singh Kukreja (@SinghLions) June 9, 2020
can’t wait to have this in the UK!— mehedi hassan (@mehedih_) June 9, 2020
But most of the people shared that the stories part was great till Instagram and Twitter is not the right place for it. Moreover they wanted Twitter to have other features first not this.
No😭 I want to see more tweets and not stories that I can see on Instagram. Most of my fleets are books and random stuff. It feels like Insta rather than twitter.— Akshat Jain (@Akjain7353) June 9, 2020
Namaste 🙏 This is one app that’s the perfect balance of visual and words as is. Please don’t ruin it. Twitter doesn’t need more visual features, build on your strength and don’t blindly imitate.— Nida (@naamadaalikhna) June 9, 2020
This feature will ruin the image of twitter!!!! There would be no difference between insta or fb or twitter…. This is no good step!!! Roll it back— #MiFan Kumar Amit (@akcool88) June 9, 2020
A lot of users also gave feedback on what can be done to make this feature better.
#FleetsFeedback my fleets should also be reflected in there too. ‘+’ sign for new #Fleets and a button for posted #Fleets . As of now i have to click the ‘+’ then scroll down to view my posted #Fleets , isn’t that boring?? pic.twitter.com/S24O5BHasY— JûBîNž (@jubintjohn) June 9, 2020
Start re fleets where we can re fleet someone’s fleets.— kunal kohli (@kunalkohli) June 10, 2020
Memes on Twitter Fleets
But as usual, the limelight was stolen by the memes that were flooded over the internet. Here are a top few :
Common Questions around Fleets
How are tweets and fleets alike and different?
Unlike Tweets, Twitter’s new Fleets can’t receive Likes, Replies or Retweets. And they’ll disappear entirely after 24 hours. Fleets aren’t non-public, to be clear; they’re just a little less accessible. You could visit someone’s public Twitter profile and tap to view their Fleets even if you don’t follow them.
Fleet won’t circulate on Twitter’s network, show up in Search or Moments, and it can’t be embedded on a third-party website.
Can Fleets be Disabled ?
No for now, there is no way to Disable fleets from your app.
Can I share someone’s Fleets ?
No, there is no public sharing button, but you can take screenshots and share.
Why I cannot see Fleets in my App ?
-If you are an Indian user and cannot see Fleets, then Update your app from play store or Apple Store.
-If you still don’t find Fleets on top of your App, ‘Force Stop’ the twitter app from App Settings, Clear Cache and open the App again.
Are Fleets available on Browser like Chrome / Safari ?
No Fleets are only available on Mobile Apps at this moment.
I think Fleets can be a useful feature on Twitter for those who are used to share stories on Whatsapp and Instagram, but with a much larger audience. What do you think about Twitter’s this new feature? Write off in the comments below !