Twitter Launches “Fleets,” a New Vanishing Type of Tweet
By Yehudit Garmaise
To show that the social media giant is keeping up with users’ demand for vanishing posts, today, Twitter announced, of course, in a tweet, its new feature, called Fleets, which are like tweets, but more “fleeting,” in that the posts disappear after 24 hours.
Fleets are just like regular tweets, in that users can write texts, share tweets, post photos, and record videos. Also, users can see who viewed their Fleets.
All mobile Twitter users, regardless of where they live or what platform they are on, have access to the new feature of disappearing messages, which will be visible at the top of the users’ timelines.
In addition to lasting for only 24 hours, another innovation of Fleets is that the social media posts cannot collect likes and retweets, which Twitter’s users reported in worldwide market research can create social pressure to collect.
“Some of you [in Brazil, India, Italy, and South Korea tell us that tweeting is uncomfortable because it feels so public, so permanent,” a Twitter statement said. “Because they disappear after a day, Fleets help people feel more comfortable sharing personal and casual thoughts, opinions, and feelings.”
In other words, Fleets are good for users who think that people on Twitter need to be more “open” and less guarded and thoughtful with their feelings.
Although users cannot “like” or “retweet,” they can respond to others’ Fleets by sending direct messages and emojis to the creator, in a way that is similar to Instagram’s direct messaging system.
Another advantage of the temporary nature of Fleets might be that because the posts disappear relatively quickly, other social media users will, hopefully, not have time to heap anger and rebuke on any single target, in a phenomenon called, “social media outrage culture” or “becoming an Internet punching bag.”
However, of course, as nothing is truly ephemeral on the Internet, and others can screenshot Fleets and retweet them with their added negative or positive comments through the “traditional” retweeting channels.