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Twitter launches Stories-like fleets that disappear after 24 hours

After months of testing, Twitter has launched a new way to tweet.

“Fleets” are like tweets except that they disappear after 24 hours. This makes it similar in many ways to “Stories” on other social media platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Twitter believes fleets will help generate more engagement on its platform after testing suggested some people preferred the lack of permanence when posting more casual thoughts and messages.

That thing you didn’t Tweet but wanted to but didn’t but got so close but then were like nah.

We have a place for that now—Fleets!

Rolling out to everyone starting today.

— Twitter (@Twitter) November 17, 2020

As with tweets, you can include text, photos, and videos in a fleet. You’ll see fleets posted by people you follow at the top of your timeline when you open the app, but unlike tweets, you can’t like or retweet them. Also, replies to fleets only work through Direct Messages.

You can share a tweet in a fleet, too. Simply tap the “share” icon at the bottom of the tweet and then tap, “share in fleet.” After that, add your thought using text or emojis, and post it. A day later, it’ll be gone.

“Fleets are for sharing momentary thoughts — they help start conversations and only stick around for 24 hours,” Twitter said in a post introducing the new feature. “Through our tests in Brazil, Italy, India, and South Korea, we learned fleets helped people feel more comfortable joining the conversation — we saw people with Fleets talk more on Twitter.”

It added: “Those new to Twitter found fleets to be an easier way to share what’s on their mind. Because they disappear from view after a day, fleets helped people feel more comfortable sharing personal and casual thoughts, opinions, and feelings.”

But don’t forget — a fleet may vanish from Twitter after 24 hours, but a screenshot taken by someone else could mean it ends up hanging around for a lot longer than a day and possibly gaining far more exposure than you’d originally intended.

If you’re not yet seeing the option to fleet, then hang in there. Twitter says the feature should appear for users globally in the coming days.

Twitter is also testing a feature that lets you tweet with your voice, though there’s no word yet on whether it’ll become a permanent option.

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Trevor Mogg
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