Twitter, the social messaging platform, is testing a new feature that encourages users to share their “fleeting thoughts” and “momentary opinions” in posts that disappear after 24 hours.
As such, the new “Fleets” feature will be similar to Instagram Stories or Snapchat posts, although – unlike standard tweets – they won’t include likes, replies or retweets and people must visit a user’s profile page to view them.
Twitter began trials this week in Brazil, one of its top markets, and product manager Mo Al Adam outlined the company’s thinking in a blog post, which Vibe translated.
“We want to make it possible for you to have conversations on the platform in new ways with less pressure and more control,” he wrote. “Fleets are for you to share your ideas and momentary opinions.”
Al Adam added that a survey found that, once the Fleets are gone, people are “more comfortable sharing everyday and everyday thoughts”. “We hope that those people who are not usually comfortable with tweeting use Fleets to talk about the reflections that come to their head,” he said.
Commenting on the development, Josh von Scheiner, chief experience officer and founder of agency Story Worldwide, told Advertising Age that Fleets are all about increasing the amount of time that users spend on the platform.
“Twitter is late to the story game, but at this point it’s become a standard format for successful social platforms,” he said. “It will also lend itself well to Twitter – bite-sized pieces of content fired off quickly is Twitter’s raison d'être.”
For Chris Erb, managing partner at agency Tripleclix, which specialises in gaming, Fleets could become an outlet for fun and creative content.
“This should allow creators, streamers and gamers to quickly share and connect with their audiences more directly outside the public purview,” he told Ad Age.
However, Joshua Lowcock, chief digital officer at Universal McCann (UM), voiced concerns about brand safety. “There is a risk that the temporary nature will encourage bad behaviour and inappropriate content on the platform,” he said. “It will be on Twitter to police Fleets and protect the health of its platform.”
Sourced from Twitter, Vibe, Advertising Age; additional content by WARC staff