What are Twitter fleets and how are they like Snapchat and Instagram Stories?

Twitter has been developing a new story feature called Fleets for over a year now, and it's ready to finally start testing it out.

Fleet is a tool for Twitter to be a better competitor to Instagram, Snapchat and other platforms that were the first in the story format. It's understandable that stories encourage new forms of sharing - perhaps even more casual, personal experiences - so it makes sense that Twitter would also like to give its users the ability to express themselves directly - as they can with their other favorite apps.

Whether they will actually use Twitter's fleet remains to be seen. However, here's how the new feature works.

What are Twitter fleets?

Since 2006, Twitter has allowed users to share tweets. These are usually text messages, but they can include images, etc. Now, Twitter is testing a new, more fleeting type of post. Called fleets (let's see what we did there?), they appear above the timeline for 24 hours before disappearing. In other words, the parks feature on Twitter is a direct clone of Snapchat stories and Instagram stories.


How to make Twitter fleets work?

Post of Fleets

You should see a plus button on the new line that is above your Twitter timeline. You can see new ephemeral posts from others in this series. Press the Plus button to start the fleet. You can enter up to 280 characters of text, add photos, pictures, or videos. When you place your fleet, it will appear on this new line along with other fleets from those you follow, with the most recent one visible first.

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Fleets will disappear after 24 hours.

React in fleets

While you don't like or retweet fleets, you can reply to fleets with emoji reactions - just like you can reply to tweets, direct messages. You can also react with text, but this will open a direct message thread with the person you sent the message to.

When will fleets be available?

Twitter with the test in Brazil. Presumably, the fleets will roll out in the coming months.

Why Twitter testing fleets?

With fleets, Twitter wants to give its users the ability to share or join a conversation without having to post a tweet, which can live forever on your profile and feels much more permanent. Here's how Mo Aladham, Twitter Product Group Manager, described fleets on his blog:

“Twitter for talking about what you care about. But, some of you tell us that you are uncomfortable on twitter because tweets are public, it feels like a constant and public account (retweets and likes). We want to make it possible for you to communicate in new ways with less pressure and more control over tweets and direct messages. That's why starting today in Brazil, we're testing Fleets, a new way to start a conversation with your passing thoughts.”

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