Ephemeral content is fast emerging as the next battleground for social media platforms. The latest to join the "disappearing feature" bandwagon is Twitter.
The micro-blogging network is testing Fleets, a feature that makes tweets disappear in 24 hours. The product is modelled on Stories, a widely popular feature first launched by Snapchat, and later aped by Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, and YouTube.
Twitter announced that Fleets will debut in Brazil. The feature will appear as rounded profile icons on top of the users' timelines on the mobile app.
Users can view Fleets even from handles they don't follow by going to a profile page. Unlike tweets, Fleets will come without Like, Reply, or Retweet options. They won't show up on Twitter Search too, which makes it a little less public than regular tweets.
To compose a Fleet, users have to hit the '+' icon. You can add text, photos, videos, and GIFs to Fleets. However, unlike on Instagram Stories, advanced editing tools are missing here.
Fleets can only be reacted to via DM. “We’re hoping that fleets can help people share the fleeting thoughts that they would have been unlikely to tweet,” Twitter said.
Twitter's Product Lead Kavyon Beykpour explained the rationale behind Fleets.
"We are working to create new capabilities that address some of the anxieties that hold people back from talking on Twitter... People often tell us that they don’t feel comfortable tweeting because Tweets can be seen and replied to by anybody, feel permanent and performative (how many Likes and Retweets will this get!?) Many of us can probably empathise with this."
However, despite the seemingly noble inspiration behind this feature, Fleets received immediate backlash from Twitterati worldwide.
Twitter faces backlash for Fleets
Users trended #RIPTwitter throughout the day.
Most believe that their request for an edit button has been ignored by Twitter for long, and instead, it has rolled out a not-so-useful feature.
Users went on to fill the platform with memes.
This may not end well. We're waiting for Twitter to react.
(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)
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