Twitter is getting rid of disappearing fleets

Twitter has said that it’s planning to shut down fleets, a way for users to share texts, photos and video that disappear in 24 hours, because the tool isn’t as widely used as the company hoped.

Fleets will no longer be available starting Aug. 3, Twitter said in a blog post. The move shows that Twitter is moving away from ephemeral content that rose in popularity after the arrival of Snapchat, followed by Facebook-owned Instagram introducing Stories in its apps.

“Although we built Fleets to address some of the anxieties that hold people back from Tweeting, Fleets are mostly used by people who are already Tweeting to amplify their own Tweets and talk directly with others,” Twitter said in the post.

Twitter introduced fleets in 2020 and made them globally available in November of that year.

In its post Wednesday, Twitter said it learned through its rollout of fleets that people enjoyed sharing media and that it planned to test a full-screen camera, text formatting options and GIF stickers in the tweet composer. The company also said it would continue to highlight its audio chat tool Spaces at the top of the timeline.

Twitter lets you control

replies to your tweet

Twitter is improving the conversation experience for users by allowing them more control over who can reply to a tweet after you have posted it. The option is different from the feature that was rolled out in August, that is, limiting who can reply to your tweets and that has to be set while writing the tweet. The new update allows you to change who can reply at a later time, which is a helpful way to deal with trolls.

On Twitter, it’s difficult to gauge the kind of tweets that can attract unwelcome attention and there have been times when trolls arrive in waves. To limit who can reply, tap the three-dot menu on a tweet and look for the option. You can make it so that everyone can reply, only people you follow can reply, or only people you mention in your tweet can reply.

The development comes close on the heels of three new features that have been proposed (but these haven’t been confirmed for development or implementation). “Trusted Friends” would let users limit the audience for select tweets, “Facets” would allow categorise your tweets when you send them and there could be an option to let users list certain phrases that they would rather not see in the replies. These three are ideas and not features.

Instagram too is working on ways to give users more flexibility. The Facebook-owned platform is said to be working on something called “Exclusive Stories”, which will allow users access to their favourite creators’ stories. The Exclusive Stories feature was uncovered by reverse engineer Alessandro Paluzzi. According to screenshots shared by Paluzzi, exclusive stories are differentiated in your feed with a purple tag and when you try to watch an exclusive story without being a fan of the person sharing, you’re prompted with a pop-up that says only fans can watch.

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