Twitter is starting to test tweets –
Instagram And Facebook Stories-
The new feature is reminiscent of Instagram and Facebook “stories” and Snapchat’s snaps, which let users post short-lived photos and messages. Such features are increasingly popular with social-media users looking for smaller groups and and more private chats. But Twitter often serves a different function than Instagram or Facebook, operating not only as a basis for conversation but as a platform for politicians and other public figures. Disappearing tweets could make it harder to hold such people accountable, monitor their posts and fact-check them. Social media services often test new features in smaller markets before bringing them to the U.S. and elsewhere — if they do so at all. Twitter said it may bring fleets to other countries depending on how the Brazil test goes. In its blog post Wednesday, Twitter said it will be looking into how the new feature “changes the way you interact and if it allows you to share what you’re thinking more comfortably.”
Fleets aren’t non-public, to be clear; they’re just a little less accessible. You could visit someone’s public Twitter profile and tap to view their Fleets even if you don’t follow them. But their Fleet won’t circulate Twitter’s network, show up in Search or Moments, and it can’t be embedded on an external website.
Twitter is one of the last major social platforms to test out a Stories format. First popularized by Snapchat, you can now find a version of Stories across Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube, and others. Spotify also recently announced a test of a Stories-like feature and even Microsoft’s Skype gave it a go at one time, as did Match and Bumble.
In Twitter’s case, Fleets are meant to address one of the primary reasons why users don’t tweet: they feel uncomfortable with Twitter’s public nature. On this front, Twitter said at CES in January it would soon test new controls for determining the audience for your Tweets — like public, followers only, and so on. But those tests haven’t yet begun, we understand.
Fleets, meanwhile, represent a simpler and more familiar solution.
In Brazil, testers will see rounded profile icons right at the top of their Timeline on Twitter’s mobile app. This will be immediately recognizable as a Stories feature. The first icon is actually a little thought bubble displaying your own profile photo. Users will simply click on the button to compose their Fleet.
The composer interface is more bare-bones than what you’d find on rival social networking sites. Twitter says that’s to reflect its product’s text-centric nature. However, users are able to add photos, GIFs and videos to a Fleet, even if fancy editing tools are not available.
Though Fleets don’t move through Twitter’s network the way that Tweets can, viewers can interact with them, in a way. If the poster allows DMs (direct messages), you can reply to the Fleet privately. You’ll also be able to react to a Fleet with an emoji, similar to how Stories work on other social apps.
Twitter to push for changes at the social network-
Twitter’s test arrives shortly after activist investor Elliott Management Corp. took a stake in Twitter to push for changes at the social network. The investment firm believes Twitter isn’t living up to its potential and its CEO Jack Dorsey — who the firm wants replaced — is distracted by his side projects and by his other CEO job at Square. Twitter is also seen as having lagged behind on innovations. While other social networks have adopted popular features like Stories, Twitter has remained focused only on its core product.
The company says it will use the Brazil test to better understand if Fleets help users become more comfortable sharing on Twitter, a perennial problem for the post-in-public social network. (Last year, Twitter even invented a new metric — mDAUs, or Monetizable Daily Active Users — in order to make its user numbers look more attractive to Wall Street investors, who have been disappointed with Twitter’s slow user growth.)