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Twitter trials ‘fleets’ to encourage people to post thoughts

Twitter’s product lead acknowledged the similarity to the Stories function on Instagram and Facebook.

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Users can react to fleets via direct messages (Twitter/PA)

Users can react to fleets via direct messages (Twitter/PA)

Users can react to fleets via direct messages (Twitter/PA)

Twitter has announced it is trialling a function that will allow users to post thoughts which disappear after 24 hours.

The posts, called “fleets”, will be viewed by tapping on a user’s avatar, and cannot be liked, retweeted, or replied to publicly.

Instead, users can react to fleets via direct messages, in a move which is apparently meant to combat the permanent nature of tweeting.

Product lead at Twitter, Kayvon Beykpour, said that the trial is taking place in Brazil on Android and iOS.

“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!?),” he tweeted.

“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.

“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.

“This is a substantial change to Twitter, so we’re excited to learn by testing it (starting with the rollout today in Brazil) and seeing how our customers use it.”

PA