Twitter announced Wednesday, March 11, 2020, that it is testing a new Stories-like format in Brazil. The announcement was made via a blog post by product manager Mo Al Adham. Called Fleets, the new feature reportedly takes its approach based on other social platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook.
Fleets is a type of tweet that is fleeting, hence the name. Unlike its more public and personal counterpart, Fleets is designed to disappear after 24 hours. According to Tech Crunch, this feature does not allow viewers to like, reply, or retweet content.
Adham also said that the decision to unveil a new video and communication format is to provide users with “more control, beyond tweets and direct messages.”
While most tweets are known to reach viral status, fleets take on a more subdued approach. In a statement via the social media platform, Twitter product lead Kayvon Beykpour said, “We’re hoping that Fleets can help people share the fleeting thoughts that they would have been unlikely to Tweet.” Reuters says the decision to shift to a Stories format comes after Facebook announced its plans to provide a more ephemeral approach to sharing information.
For its testing phase in Brazil, Tech Crunch states that testers will see circular profile icons. Located at the topmost portion of their Twitter feed, these remain largely similar to the Stories format other companies are also implementing. The first icon features the user’s own account photo and the “+” sign allows users to post what they want.
Apart from posting photos, individuals may also post GIFs and videos to the app’s newest Fleet format. Testers and users alike may put up videos that last for up to 2 minutes and 20 seconds. Meanwhile, partner establishments or publishers may also put up videos of up to 10 minutes.
In true Stories video format fashion, individuals may post a succession of Fleets, which viewers can simply navigate using a series of gestures.
While other platforms seem to have programmed their video formats to automatically play or be accessible by swiping right, the bird app went in another direction. For viewing Fleets posted by another individual, users would have to swipe left. Those who are interested in watching more updates from the same user need to swipe down.
Despite the abundance of features, Tech Crunch states that the feature has yet to have superior editing tools that are at par with other platforms. The company has also yet to figure out how users can filter personalized stories.
The testing phase in Brazil is slated to run for a couple of months. This will be used to gauge the popularity and demand for this format in other countries and markets.