What just happened? Twitter is finally hopping aboard the ephemeral train. Starting today, the microblogging platform is testing a new feature called fleets – temporary posts that disappear after 24 hours and have no likes, public comments or retweets.
In announcing the feature, product manager Mo Al Adham said some people feel insecure about tweeting because tweets are public, permanent and display public engagement counts such as likes and retweets.
Fleets are being pitched as an alternative for people that aren’t comfortable with the perpetual nature of standard tweets. They can include text, videos, GIFs and photos and can be replied to directly via DM so long as your DMs are open. Fleets live at the top of your home page and are visible to anyone that has access to your full profile.
“In an initial survey, people told us that, once the fleets are gone, they are more comfortable sharing every day and everyday thoughts,” Adham said.
The concept of ephemeral content has really taken off in recent years on the back of platforms like Snapchat and Instagram but don’t be deceived. Once you put something on the Internet, it’s there for the taking. The instant it goes up, someone can capture a screenshot. How about the Wayback Machine? Will it work with fleets the same way it does with tweets?
I’m just saying – if you are that concerned about a thought or opinion being shared on the Internet, don’t put it there to begin with.
The feature is initially being tested in Brazil. Based on how testing goes, Twitter will decide if it wants to expand the feature to other regions.