Every few months, another company decides to copy Snapchat’s Stories feature, and this week it was the popular social media platform Twitter.
Dubbed ‘Fleets’, Twitter has been testing the feature which is its new own version of stories on Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Snapchat. Users on the app will now be allowed to share fleeting thoughts every day, Fleets will last for 24 hours and then disappear.
That thing you didn’t Tweet but wanted to but didn’t but got so close but then were like nah.
We have a place for that now—Fleets!
Rolling out to everyone starting today. pic.twitter.com/auQAHXZMfH
— Twitter (@Twitter) November 17, 2020
Just like all other stories on different platforms, Twitter will let you capture photos and videos from the Fleets camera, and share from your camera roll as well. You can also customize your Fleets with background and text colors. If you’re seeing someone’s Fleets you can react to it, and also reply to them. These replies will appear on Twitter’s DM.
it’s funny how the fleets bar takes up exactly enough real estate to be annoying. it’s positioned right around where you’d find the most obnoxious, undismissable ads in a mobile web browser
— sarah jeong (@sarahjeong) November 18, 2020
twitter has ‘stories’ or fleets or whatever now; making me think of that Deleuze line about being forced to express yourself: pic.twitter.com/9LvlR0Vy1K
— vøid_swarm (@ARDENT4COLLAPSE) November 18, 2020
"OMG I finally have fleets!!" I don't even watch your insta and snap stories what makes you think I'm gonna watch your twitter stories lmfao
— ✨ (@beautifulch4os) November 18, 2020
With these mixed reactions, safety and harassment has taken the forefront of the Fleet Debate given the only way to reply to a fleet is via the Direct Messages.
Anyone who thought the default reply to fleets should be DMing people may not have interviewed enough users, especially women and others whose Twitter lives are defined by DM harassment.
— Anand Giridharadas (@AnandWrites) November 18, 2020
Worth noting, this isn't really true–I've seen commentary that fleets, as temporary posts that can mention someone without alerting them (?) are probably a significant harrasment vector. Which seems right to me.
— Hamlette (@HamletEJ) November 17, 2020
— SON M. (@bogboogie) November 17, 2020