Snapchat started it seven years ago and Instagram made it big among the masses three years later: stories. Now Twitter also comes with the option to post messages that disappear after 24 hours.
This has made it a tried and tested concept, but that does not mean that Twitter can automatically piggyback on its success. The function can now also be found in WhatsApp, Facebook and even LinkedIn. The question is whether users really need another place.
Twitter has been testing ‘Fleets’, as it calls the feature, in several countries in recent months and sees enough potential to roll it out worldwide now. The company hopes that users will dare to share their thoughts more often. In the Netherlands, the function will work from Thursday.
‘Too Nervous to Tweet’
The posts shared via ‘Fleets’ cannot be publicly shared or liked. Users who respond will do so via a private message. It is possible to share a tweet via the stories function.
“A lot of people don’t tweet; they are too nervous to do that or find it too intimidating because the tweets are public and permanent,” said Twitter’s head of design Joshua Harris. “Sometimes you can feel like a tweet has to be perfect and that can feel like a big burden.”
The company also realizes that it is a bit late with this position. “This concept may sound familiar to you and it may seem like we’re getting in late,” said Harris. However, research from Twitter itself shows that it would add something.
Twitter under magnifying glass
The feature is being rolled out as Twitter’s policy on misinformation on the platform is under a magnifying glass due to the US presidential election. Much attention was paid to the way the company handled President Trump’s messages. For Twitter, ‘Fleets’ means an extra place to be alert.
This afternoon, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, along with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, will be heard by the US Senate. It is expected that this will include consideration of how the two platforms used the labels.