Social Media

Fleets — Disappearing Tweets — Are Officially Here

Get ready to empty your drafts.

by Syeda Khaula Saad and Kaitlyn Wylde
Originally Published: 
A woman tweets on her phone while looking at her computer. Twitter announced Fleets, disappearing Tw...
LaylaBird/E+/Getty Images

Have you ever wanted to Tweet something but didn't want to commit to it being a part of your Twitter page forever? Well, now Twitter is giving you the opportunity to do this in a way similar to Snapchat and Instagram. In a series of Tweets on Mar. 4, Product Lead Kayvon Beykpour announced that Twitter would be testing Fleets — temporary Tweets that will disappear after 24 hours. On Tuesday, Nov. 17, Fleets officially became available on Twitter, meaning the internet is officially ready for your passing thoughts.

Twitter's new Fleets are meant to alleviate the pressure behind sharing your thoughts and feelings. "We're hoping that Fleets can help people share the fleeting thoughts that they would have been unlikely to Tweet," Beykpour Tweeted. Plus, this new feature will only allow people to reply to Fleets through reactions or DMs — they can't comment on them. And they don't even show up on your regular Twitter feed: To see someone's Fleets, you have to tap on their avatar at the top of your screen (kind of like Instagram Stories or Snapchat). In addition to posting a message, you can also post a GIF, photo, or video.

How To Create A Fleet

To create a Fleet, all you'll have to do is tap the plus sign on your avatar at the top of your Twitter feed (the same way you would make a Story on Instagram). Then, you'll have 280 characters to write whatever it is your heart desires, no strings attached (just make sure it's not mean). To share an existing Tweet in your Fleet, tap the “Share” icon at the bottom of the Tweet and then tap “Share in Fleet.”

You can still Fleet and delete if you have second thoughts about your Tweet before the 24 hour period is up, but knowing that it won't appear in your main feed might give you the confidence to empty out your drafts. Per the Verge, there won't be a notification if someone screenshots your Fleet, at least not yet.

If you don't yet notice the update in your Twitter app, try updating it in the App store. It might take a few days to roll out to all users, so don't get discouraged if you don't see it yet.

How People Feel About Fleets

While some users are excited to start using Twitter like they would Instagram or Facebook Stories, others aren't so convinced Fleets are a good idea. Shortly after news broke of the new Stories-like feature back in March, #RIPTwitter started trending, with users expressing disappointment in the platform's latest decision to take this route. A photoshopped image depicting the Twitter home screen with "From Facebook" text at the bottom circulated amongst these Tweets, suggesting some people like Twitter because it's so different from other social media platforms. As Fleets debuted across the platform in November, users expressed similar feelings of bemusement, by and large balking at the change.

While the jury is still out on the new Fleets feature, one thing is for sure — the way people use Twitter is about to undergo some major changes.

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