Twitter testing ‘fleets,’ which disappear after 24 hours


Twitter is testing a new feature called “fleets,” which are intended to disappear after 24 hours, the company announced Wednesday. 

The social media mogul will begin its test this week for Android and iOS users in Brazil, which it designated as one of its “most conversational countries” in a release, but it may expand to other countries depending on the results of the test. 

Fleets, named after their “fleeting” nature, cannot be retweeted, liked or replied to publicly. 

They will appear at the top of the screen once a user clicks another user’s avatar, similar to how Instagram and Facebook stories work. If a user replies to a fleet, the reply will appear as a direct message, similar to responding to an Instagram story. 

Twitter pushed this new feature because users have reported they’re “uncomfortable to Tweet because Tweets are public, feel permanent, and have public counts (Retweets and Likes).”

“We want to make it possible for you to have conversations in new ways with less pressure and more control, beyond Tweets and Direct Messages,” the company said in its announcement. “We hope that people who don’t usually feel comfortable Tweeting use Fleets to share musings about what’s on their mind.”

Fleets will be text-first, but users can add videos, GIFs and photos to the post.

Twitter’s announcement has sparked some worry over how politicians and other authorities will be held accountable if they are using the fleet function. The feature comes at a time when social media companies are facing concerns about how they handle misinformation.

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