Twitter is launching ‘fleets’: tweets that disappear after 24 hours, similar to the feature available on social media sites like Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram that already have disappearing posts.
The company says the ephemeral tweets, which it calls fleets because of their fleeting nature, are designed to allay the concerns of new users who might be turned off by the public and permanent nature of normal tweets.
Before the company decided to roll the feature globally, it was tested in Brazil, Italy, India, and South Korea.
Twitter’s design director, Joshua Harris, and product manager, Sam Haveson, wrote in a blog post said, “Some of you tell us that tweeting is uncomfortable because it feels so public, so permanent, and like there’s so much pressure to rack up retweets and likes.”
“Because they disappear from view after a day, fleets helped people feel more comfortable sharing personal and casual thoughts, opinions, and feelings,” it added.
Fleets can’t be retweeted and they won’t have likes. People can respond to them, but the replies show up as direct messages to the original tweeter, not as a public response, turning any back-and-forth into a private conversation instead of a public discussion.
Fleets are a lower pressure way to communicate fleeting thoughts as opposed to permanent tweets, Twitter executives Joshua Harris, design director, and Sam Haveson, product manager, said in a blog post.
The news comes the same day Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg faced questions from a Senate Judiciary Committee about how they handled disinformation surrounding the presidential election. Both sites have stepped up action taken against disinformation.