Twitter launches test feature 'fleets' in India for tweets that disappear

Since Twitter started testing 'fleets' in Brazil, it says, it has seen people becoming relatively comfortable while sharing what’s on their mind | Photo: iStock
Twitter on Tuesday launched a new test feature called ‘Fleets in India’, on the lines of ‘stories’ on Instagram or Facebook, to allow users post messages that would disappear after 24 hours.

Fleets do not have features, such as likes, retweets, or public replies. India is the third test market for this feature, after Brazil and Italy.

“India is important for Twitter since it is one of our largest and fastest-growing audience markets. We are excited to bring the fleets experiment to India and make it one of the first three countries to experience this new product. From testing in India, we’ll learn how adding a new mode of conversation changes the way Indians engage on Twitter. It’ll also be interesting to see if it amplifies the diversity of usage by allowing people to share what they’re thinking in a way that is light-touch and light-hearted,” said Manish Maheshwari, managing director, Twitter India.

To "fleet (instead of tweet)", users can tap on their avatar (profile picture) to start, add text or media, and hit send.

The feature will be available on the latest version of the Twitter app only. This means users will not be able to use it on the desktop version of the app.

Followers will be able to see a person's fleets at the top of their home page. People can see who’s seen their fleet by looking underneath a post.

“Twitter is where people go to see and talk about what’s happening. We want people to be able to have conversations on Twitter in different ways, with less pressure and more control. That’s why we’re testing a way to share their fleeting thoughts,” said Mo Al Adham, Twitter group product manager.

Since Twitter started to test fleets in Brazil, it says, it has seen people becoming relatively comfortable while sharing what’s on their mind. People who don’t usually Tweet are starting more conversations and sending both fleets and tweets.

Brands and individuals have successfully used the stories feature on Instagram and Facebook for better engagement with their followers and intended audience. Instagram has added commerce-related features to stories, such as links to online stores, and longer video formats, besides allowing sharing other posts as temporary status updates.

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