Twitter’s New ‘Fleets’ Are for People Who Are Afraid to Tweet
‘Tweeting, retweeting, engaging in conversation can honestly be incredibly terrifying,’ the company’s head of research said
Twitter on Tuesday launched “Fleets,” its version of the Snapchat Stories (or Instagram Stories, or Facebook Stories, or LinkedIn Stories, or… well, you get the idea). Like those others, they can come in the form of text, images, or video; they appear above the feeds of the people who follow you and they disappear after 24 hours. On Twitter, they can also include a tweet, either yours or someone else’s, along with your reaction to it. Unlike tweets, they can’t be retweeted, liked, or replied to, except via direct message.
From one perspective, this is just Twitter keeping up with the Joneses, launching a familiar feature in a characteristically belated fashion. In a call with journalists on Monday, however, Twitter executives made the case that Fleets are part of a larger push to reshape the service as something friendlier, safer, and more comfortable for novice users. Along with Fleets, the company teased an upcoming feature called Spaces, which will allow users to set up live audio chat rooms and control who can join.
If you ask Twitter’s power users what the company’s biggest problems are, especially in the United States, you’re likely to hear about issues such as content moderation, abuse and harassment, bots, partisan echo chambers, and its codependent, love-hate relationship with Donald Trump. Those are all real issues that the company continues to struggle with. From a business standpoint, however, Twitter’s biggest problem is simply that most people still don’t tweet.
A Tweet Filled With Porn Noises Demonstrates Twitter Is Unprepared for Audio
Twitter — a platform that already struggles with curbing harmful content — has not detailed a plan for moderating its…
While the platform has grown in recent years, closing in on 200 million daily active users worldwide, it was long ago lapped by younger rivals such as Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok, and the pandemic has not resulted in the boom that other online platforms have experienced. What’s holding Twitter back, the…