Twitter said on Tuesday that it was launching tweets that disappear after 24 hours, joining rival social platforms to deliver ephemeral messages.
The new “fleets” that have been tested in various countries in recent months are “for sharing momentary thoughts” and aim to appeal to users who want to prevent their comments from becoming permanent fixtures, according to a Twitter blog post. .
“Those new to Twitter found that fleets are an easier way to share what they think,” said product manager Sam Haveson and director of design Joshua Harris in the blog post.
“Because they disappear from sight after a day, the fleets helped people feel more comfortable by sharing personal and casual thoughts, opinions and feelings.”
The move gives Twitter a new tool to compete with Snapchat, which made disappearing messages popular, and Facebook, which has embraced the idea as well.
Twitter has become an important platform for politicians, celebrities and journalists, but has lagged behind users of other social networks.
In the last quarter, it reported 187 million “monetizable” daily active users, behind Snapchat and Facebook.
Twitter said the new format would allow users to create the same types of messages as in regular tweets, including images, videos and emojis, with the option to have the message disappear.
“Your fans can see your fleets at the top of your home timeline,” Haveson and Harris said.
“Anyone who can see your full profile will also be able to see your fleets there.”
Twitter has been testing the new format in Brazil, Italy, India and South Korea and learned that “we saw people with fleets talking more on Twitter.”
– Passive to active –
Twitter Research Director Nikkia Reveillac said the new format was aimed at helping people move from a passive to an active role in the Twitter conversation.
“People have to feel comfortable and in control” to participate in the conversation, Reveillac told reporters.
“What we learned when we talked to people is that… striking up a conversation can be, honestly, incredibly scary… And we know this is true in real life. And we know it’s true online. “
Harris told reporters that the move is expected to boost engagement on Twitter.
“The stalking and writing are great, but for Twitter to really serve the public conversation, people have to feel comfortable having a conversation with less pressure,” he said.
And it may seem like we’re a little late to the game on this, but we’ve been thoughtful and explored the format and how it works for people on Twitter. And we realized through market testing research that it makes sense for our platform. “
Another new feature that will be launched next year is the “voice tweet” or audio recording that replaces the text and has been tested in recent months.
“Sometimes 280 characters just isn’t enough,” said product designer Maya Gold Patterson.
And sometimes tweeting is not the right way to communicate right now. So we were interested in exploring how audio could help add an extra layer to the public conversation. “
Patterson said that “hearing the empathy, emotion and nuances in someone’s voice could help people connect on a different level” than a simple text tweet.
He noted that brands can also use voice tweets to better connect with customers and journalists to tell their stories.