Twitter on Tuesday announced a global launch of “Fleets,” the ephemeral tweeting feature it first announced earlier this year and tested in various markets around the globe.
Now, any mobile Twitter user, regardless of where they live or what platform they’re on, will have access to the disappearing messaging feature, which will sit right at the top of the timeline in a row of Stories-like bubbles.
Twitter hopes the new feature will help reduce the pressure around tweeting by letting users express more casual thoughts and feelings while also concerning themselves less with saying something profound or racking up likes and retweets. Fleets rolled out on Android and iOS and should be available for everyone in the coming days, the company says.
“Through our tests in Brazil, Italy, India, and South Korea, we learned Fleets helped people feel more comfortable joining the conversation — we saw people with Fleets talk more on Twitter,” explain design director Joshua Harris and product manager Sam Haveson in a blog post. “Those new to Twitter found Fleets to be an easier way to share what’s on their mind. Because they disappear from view after a day, Fleets helped people feel more comfortable sharing personal and casual thoughts, opinions, and feelings.”
At its most basic level, Fleets is a Stories clone, borrowing all of the best ideas implemented by Instagram and Snapchat. You can share text, respond to others’ tweets, or post videos with the same background color and overlaid text options you get on other messaging apps with ephemeral features, with every message disappearing after 24 hours. You can also respond to others’ fleets by tapping on one and sending a direct message or emoji to the creator, which will start a DM conversation similar to how the story reply process works on Instagram. Twitter says it will also be introducing stickers and live broadcasting at some point in the future. You cannot, however, like or retweet a fleet.