Twitter has a new feature, but don't let the fancy name fool you. The feature isn't available to everyone yet, but odds are, you'll see what Twitter is calling "fleets" soon enough. What are Twitter fleets? Here's what you should know about the new feature, before it becomes widely available.
The social media company is finally taking the hint from other social platforms and testing out a new feature called fleets. While the name sounds new — and might have you questioning what "fleets" are — TBH, it's just the same stories feature that every other platform has. Twitter's new feature will allow users to post content for only a short period of time, rather than having it stick around forever. For whatever reason, Twitter didn't incorporate a version of stories back in the day, when platforms like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger added the feature, beginning in 2016. However, the real credit for stories goes to Snapchat's introduction of the feature in 2013; every other platform just stepped up its game to keep up with the growing competition.
Twitter is finally testing out the feature in Brazil, as of Wednesday, March 4. Announced on its company blog, one of Twitter's product managers wrote, "Some people say they feel insecure to Tweet because Tweets are public, permanent, and exhibit public engagement counts (likes and Retweets)." By introducing this test feature, fleets gives users a way to engage as they do with Snapchat Stories and Instagram Stories. "Fleets" is a combination of fleeting and tweets, to hint at the whole fleeting aspect of this stories element.
Basically, fleets will work similarly to stories features you already use on other platforms. It allows you to post photos, videos, GIFs, and text as "fleets" and they disappear after a specified amount of time, though the main focus is still on text-based posts. You can't retweet or like a Fleet publicly.
From the looks of the introduction video, fleets are really similar to Instagram Stories, with more of a focus on text. That being said, since it does allow for photos and videos, you aren't limited to only posting text for your fleets.
Although the feature is only available in Brazil currently, some Americans are weighing in on the introduction, hoping the feature will soon come to the United States. Some of the tweets from those in Brazil show how the feature integrates with the app, but it's important to note that test features often evolve before they launch globally.
Twitter chose to test the feature in Brazil because it's one of the top countries for Twitter engagement. While this is a test, it is very possible that fleets will become available in other countries, so keep your eyes out for updates on fleets in the future.