Twitter is testing its own version of Stories, called Fleets, where you can upload photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours.
The social network made the announcement on Wednesday, March 4. The test, which rolled out the same day, is currently only available in Brazil. Unlike normal tweets, Fleets do not receive retweets, likes or public replies. Users can only react or respond to them with direct messages, just like Instagram’s Stories feature.
Fleets will not appear on people’s Twitter timelines like regular tweets. Instead, they can be viewed by tapping on someone’s avatar.
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.
On Wednesday evening, #RIPTwitter was a top trending topic in the US on Twitter, with some users criticizing the feature. A Twitter spokesperson said Fleets are subject to the same rules as tweets and the company will take enforcement action against violators. Users can also report content. The company will keep a copy of Fleets “for a limited time” after they are deleted to enforce any rule violations, and so people can appeal decisions. After that, those posts will be deleted from Twitter’s systems.
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.