Since it started way back in 2006, Twitter has been pretty stubborn about keeping users to its traditional 280-character post length and how the basic nature of all tweets work. In perhaps one of the biggest changes it has made to its traditional Tweet make-up though, the company is reportedly testing a new feature called Fleet, or essentially, fleeting tweets.
The Verge provided the details of the new feature that is currently in testing which sees your post appear in a separate timeline above the main timeline for 24 hours before disappearing. Essentially making Fleets more of a status update that mimics Snapchat and Instagram’s Stories features. Mo Aladham, a Twitter group product manager, provided the details of why Twitter has decided to test out a different form of tweeting for its users:
Twitter is for having conversations about what you care about. But, some of you tell us that you’re uncomfortable to tweet 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.
To create a fleet, a user needs to tap a plus button that appears on a new home row of ephemeral posts on top of your home timeline. From there, you can type up to 280 characters of text or add photos, GIFs, or videos. Once you hit the post button, the fleet appears in a lightly ranked side-scrolling row of posts. Fleets from people you follow and who follow you back will appear first, with the most recent post visible first. From there, you’ll see posts from other accounts that you follow.
Unlike tweets though, you cannot like or retweet a fleet. However, it will be possible to respond to fleets with reaction emojis or with text, which will open up a DM with the person you’re messaging. I’m not a person who likes to Tweet much and I doubt I will now Fleet either but do you see this new form of ephemeral messaging as a useful feature to your Twitter experience?
Last Updated: March 5, 2020