Twitter is testing a new feature similar to Snapchat Stories that lets users upload posts that disappear after a period of time. First rolling out in Brazil, "fleets" cannot receive likes, replies, or retweets and disappear after 24 hours, similar to the "story" features on Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram.
"Twitter is for having conversations about what you care about," Mo Aladham, a Twitter group product manager, said in a blog post, according to The Verge. "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."
The new feature is already generating plenty of talk on social media, and it doesn't seem to be winning over many, who think more emphasis should be put on developing the widely sought after edit button and tackling the bullying problem on the platform. The announcement generated so much buzz and backlash that "RIP Twitter" was trending Wednesday night.
LITERALLY EVERYONE: We want an edit button for Tweets.
TWITTER: No, but here are stories called "Fleets," your welcome.March 5, 2020
"Twitter could give us an edit button, an irony font, remove the fascists, improve the algorithms to deal with hate speech," wrote one person. "Instead we're going to get lame 'stories' (AKA Fleets); ephemeral 24 hour content. Why do you think we are here and not on Instagram? "
"Twitter is just like the weird but very special kid trying to be like the cool kids on the block," tweeted another. "Fleets? Really? You're stopping to IG level low?"
We want an edit button, easy account verification, and accountability for trolls. You give us Fleets — disappearing tweets — basically Stories but with a silly name. Because what Twitter really needs is more ephemeral bullshit.#RIPTwitter pic.twitter.com/KtpQTo0GW1— James Garside (@jamesgarside_) March 5, 2020
"[RIP Twitter] is trending because Twitter is introducing stories ("fleets") before an edit feature," commented another person. "I don't know about y'all, but I'm much more interested in Twitter enforcing its rules of conduct equally & fairly across all accounts."
"Twitter said they listened to user's opinion but still doesn't have an edit button which a lot of ppl asked for," added somebody else. "I don't give a s– [about] fleets that's for sure."
Fleets began rolling out to Twitter users in Brazil on Wednesday, according to Tech Crunch. The test will run for several months before the social media platform decides whether to expand the feature worldwide or make any changes to it.