Twitter starts testing Fleets, its own version of Stories, which disappears after 24 hours


Twitter is testing its own version of Stories. The company announced that it will begin to test a new sharing format called “Fleets,” starting in Brazil, which will let users post ephemeral content to its social network for the first time. 

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. 

But their Fleet won’t circulate Twitter’s network, show up in Search or Moments, and it can’t be embedded on an external website. Twitter is one of the last major social platforms to test out a Stories format. First popularized by Snapchat, you can now find a version of Stories across Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube, and others. 

In Twitter’s case, Fleets are meant to address one of the primary reasons why users don’t tweet: they feel uncomfortable with Twitter’s public nature. 

On this front, Twitter said at CES in January it would soon test new controls for determining the audience for your Tweets — like public, followers only, and so on. But those tests haven’t yet begun, we understand. 

Kayvon Beykpour, product lead at Twitter, announced the news on the platform, writing: "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're hoping that Fleets can help people share the fleeting thoughts that they would have been unlikely to Tweet."Twitter's new feature raises questions over how it will handle misinformation in disappearing posts. Though the inability to retweet, like or reply will surely limit a post's potential reach, it could still be widely seen, especially if the user has a large following.

The Fleets feature comes just weeks after Twitter acquired Chroma Labs, a startup offering templates and editing tools to make Stories stand out. It was started by former Facebook and Instagram employees who worked on features including building Instagram Stories and Boomerang. The company's founders are now Twitter employees.

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