Twitter is finally dabbling in ephemeral content, an area that's long been dominated by Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. The micro-blogging service announced today that it is testing "Fleets" starting in Brazil, where Twitter believes people share their thoughts more often using the platform.
Fleets work much like Facebook and Instagram Stories they disappear after 24 hours. Unlike regular tweets, however, you can't retweet, like or comment on this type of content. Nonetheless, your followers can reply to your Fleets by tapping on them to send a Direct Message or emoji.
Twitter says the goal of the experimental tool is to help you share your fleeting thoughts through the service. The company cites a survey which shows that users felt more comfortable sharing everyday ideas after the Fleets were gone. In a blog post, Twitter Product Manager Mo Al Adham wrote:
"Twitter is the place where you talk about topics that interest you. But some people say they feel insecure to Tweet because Tweets are public, permanent and exhibit public engagement counts (likes and Retweets). We want to make it possible for you to have conversations on the platform in new ways, with less pressure and more control , in addition to Tweets and Direct Messages (DMs)."
In addition to texts, Fleets can also include videos, GIFs, or photos. Fleets that you share will show up at the top of the home page of your followers. However, they can only respond to your Fleets if your DM is open to anyone. This experimental feature will be available only on iOS and Android starting today. Twitter says it will roll out Fleets to more countries in the future, depending on the outcome of the test.