Twitter is launching Fleets, its self-destruct messages, to all users, after testing the temporary Stories type posts in a beta earlier this year. Announced in March, Twitter Fleets was launched in Brazil, Italy, India and South Korea as a way to share more passenger and media comments than you’d like to stay on your normal schedule.
Although you can tweet normally, you will also be able to share content with what is basically Twitter’s version of the stories. They last for 24 hours and are automatically deleted after that.
“Those new to Twitter have found Fleets to be an easier way to share their thoughts,” say product managers Joshua Harris and Sam Haveson of the beta response. “As they disappear from view after a day, Fleets helped people feel more comfortable sharing personal and casual thoughts, opinions and feelings.”
Much like Instagram Stories, responses to Fleets don’t work like normal Twitter responses. Instead, you can send a text response or an emoji to the Fleet author, which will appear in your Direct Messages – assuming they are open – instead of a public response. It is also impossible to retweet a Fleet, although it is important to note that there is nothing to stop someone from taking a screenshot of what you have posted and saving it that way.
Fleets can include only text, be reactions to other tweets, or include photos or videos. Different backgrounds and text options are supported, along with emojis. In due course, says Twitter, it will add stickers and live streaming to Fleets, for even more speed.
If you have blocked your direct Twitter messages to accept only messages from the people you follow, you will also receive reactions and responses to the Fleets of that subset of people. Followers will see Fleets at the top of the initial timeline or open their Twitter profile.
Twitter says Fleets is being launched for iOS and Android users worldwide in the coming days. You’ll know if it has functionality when a line of circles appears at the top of the app.