As part of its constant endeavour to make it possible for people “to have conversations in new ways with less pressure and more control”, Twitter has started testing Fleets in India. These self-disappearing tweets will vanish in 24 hours and will not have retweets, likes or public comments. India is among the first markets after Brazil to get this new feature.
We mailed some questions to Twitter’s group product manager Mo Al Adham to learn more about this new feature.
How does Fleets work?
Fleets are a new way to start conversations from your fleeting thoughts. Fleets disappear after 24 hours and don’t get Retweets, Likes, or public replies. Similar to Tweets, Fleets are text-first, but you can also add videos or photos. If you want to reply to a Fleet, tap on it to send a Direct Message or emoji, and continue the conversation in your DMs. Your followers can see your Fleets at the top of their home timeline. And anyone who can see your full profile can find your Fleets there. If you have open DMs, anyone can react to your Fleets. If you have protected Tweets, only people who follow you can see your Fleets at the top of their timeline or by clicking on your profile photo.
What was the idea behind this feature? What problem are you solving here?
Twitter is where people go to see and talk about what’s happening. But, some people tell us that they’re uncomfortable to tweet because tweets are public, feel permanent, and have public counts (Retweets and Likes). There’s also the feeling that a good tweet has to have a lot of likes, RTs, and replies. We want to make it possible for people to have conversations in new ways with less pressure and more control, beyond tweets and Direct Messages. That’s why we are testing Fleets, a new way to start conversations from your fleeting thoughts with no likes, no retweets, no public replies, and no permanence.
How have Twitter users in Brazil and Italy reacted to Fleets?
While there is a lot more to learn, we are seeing people become more comfortable about sharing what’s on their minds. People who don’t usually Tweet are starting more conversations and sending both Fleets and Tweets. When people send a Fleet, they often share a number of thoughts rapidly.
What are your expectations from the Indian market?
We are excited to bring Fleets to India. We’re looking to learn how adding a new way to have conversations on Twitter changes the way people in India interact on Twitter, including – are people Tweeting more or less, having more or fewer conversations, and coming back to Twitter to Fleet more or less. We’re focused on seeing how people in India use Fleets and look forward to learning more about its adoption, usage, and changes to the overall behaviour on the service.
Will the product be available for all Indian users?
At a time when tweets by public figures are on record, and considered as government communication, how does a feature like this work?
With Fleets, we hope people who are uncomfortable to Tweet feel more comfortable sharing their thoughts. Also, your Fleets are public – everyone can see your Fleets on your profile or at the top of the home timeline if they follow you. Our intention is not to discourage people, institutions, and authorities from exchanging official and critical information.
If people think something is a violation of the Twitter Rules, they can report it to us. We maintain a copy of each Fleet on our servers for a limited time beyond 24 hours to analyse how Fleets are being used and to be able to enforce against Fleets that violate our rules.
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