Twitter Fleets: Tired of Watching the Same Stories on Insta & FB? Here’s Another App to Worry About

Technology

Twitter Fleets: Tired of Watching the Same Stories on Insta & FB? Here’s Another App to Worry About

Illustration: Reynold Mascarenhas

If you’re tired of watching someone post the same story on Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp, you’ve got another app to worry about. As part of its endeavour to get people “to have conversations in new ways with less pressure and more control,” Twitter has rolled out Fleets in India. Don’t worry, it’s just another fancy name for “stories”.

Fleets are self-disappearing tweets that vanish in 24 hours and will not have retweets, likes, or public comments. Fleets cannot be embedded on a third-party website and will not show up in Search or Moments. A reply to a Fleet ends up in Direct Message and users can continue the conversation there.

In an email interview to The Indian Express, product manager Mo Al Adham explained the rationale behind the launch. “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,” he said.

India is among the first markets after Brazil to get this feature. “India is important for Twitter since it is one of our largest and fastest-growing audience markets globally. We are excited to bring the Fleets experiment to India and make it one of the first three countries in the world to experience this new product,” said Manish Maheshwari, Managing Director at Twitter India, in a statement.

Twitter users love to complain and the feedback to Fleets hasn’t been different. After the feature was rolled out in India, there have been memes and jokes galore. People were quick to point out the fact that this feature had been “copied” from other platforms.

Twitter purists pointed out how Fleets could destroy the experience of the Timeline, which has been Twitter’s USP over the years.

Omar Abdullah echoed a sentiment felt by many others. Where is the goddamn edit button, Jack?

Twitter was meant for posting texts, why is it going the Instagram way?

But then, there are also those who hate Fleets but love Twitter.

The way things are going, by the end of the year, everything from our calculator, fridge and washing machine screen might have the “stories” feature. Or maybe, this is just a fleeting thought.

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