India is amongst the first three countries in the world to get Twitter’s new Fleets feature. The feature is a version of Stories, first introduced by Snapchat and copied by Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp. Fleets are disappearing tweets, which will appear at the top of your Twitter feed. They disappear every 24 hours.
The feature will be available for everyone in India, on both iOS and Android, though Twitter says it’s still “testing” the feature. It is also available in Brazil and Italy.
Unlike your regular tweets, Fleets cannot be retweeted and liked. Your followers can’t comment on them either.
“From the test in India, we’ll learn how adding a new mode of conversation changes the way Indians engage on Twitter,” said Manish Maheshwari, Managing Director, Twitter India. “It’ll also be interesting to see if it further amplifies the diversity of usage by allowing people to share what they’re thinking in a way that is light-touch and light-hearted,” he added.
Of course, users will only see Fleets from people they follow on top of their Twitter feed, and just like Stories on Instagram etc, you will be able to check who all have seen your Fleets. You can also check Fleets by others by looking at their profile page.
Twitter will also add buttons to react and reply to Fleets, just like rival platforms. Replies to Fleets will be conveyed through Direct Messaging on the platform. Users will also be able to report Fleets for violating community guidelines.
The company had first started testing Fleets in Brazil in March this year. “Since starting to test Fleets in Brazil, Twitter has seen people become more comfortable sharing what’s on their minds. People who don’t usually Tweet are starting more conversations and sending both Fleets and Tweets,” said Mo Al Adham, Twitter Group Product Manager.
While Fleets looks like a standalone addition to the platform, it’s a part of efforts Twitter has been making to modify how conversations happen on its platform. The company had started testing a feature last month that allowed a select set of users to control who replies to their Tweets.