Announced in March this year, Twitter has launched the new Fleets feature for the Indian users. Introduced first in Brazil, followed by Italy, India is the third country to test this new feature. Similar to 'Stories' on Instagram, Fleets is a new way to have conversations using text, photos, and videos, that will disappear after 24 hours. And unlike regular tweets, there aren't any likes, retweets, or public replies on these posts.
Twitter learned from research that people don't Tweet because Tweets are public, feel permanent, and display the number of Retweets and Likes. With Fleets, the company hopes to empower more people to express themselves more freely.
"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. From the test in India, we'll learn how adding a new mode of conversation changes the way Indians engage on Twitter. 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," says Manish Maheshwari, MD, Twitter India.
To create a new Fleet, a user will have to tap the avatar on the top left of the profile, start typing or tap a media icon to add photo/s or video/s and tap 'Fleet' to post. Fleets from the accounts a user follows will appear on top of one's timeline. One will be able to see who's seen their Fleet by looking underneath a post and can tap on someone's avatar to see what the person has shared since they last were on Twitter. Alternatively, one can also find an account's Fleets by visiting their profile page.
To engage with followers on Fleets, buttons to reply and react will available when Direct Messages (DMs) will be open. Followers will be able to reply privately via DM or quickly react with an emoji and continue the conversation privately in DMs.
"Twitter is where people go to see and talk about what's happening. We want people to be able to have conversations on Twitter in different ways, with less pressure and more control. That's why we're testing a way to share their fleeting thoughts," adds Mo Aladham, Twitter Group Product Manager.
Since the introduction of Fleets, Twitter has seen people become more comfortable sharing what's on their minds. In India, Fleets will be available on Twitter for iOS and Android in the coming days in updated app versions.