Tech & The Web

From Tweets to Fleets: Twitter Introducing Disappearing Posts


If you’ve ever wished something you posted on Twitter would just go away before anyone saw it, fleets may be what you’ve been waiting for.

This week, Twitter rolled out a feature it calls fleets. We’ve always called posts on the social media network “tweets.” So what’s different about fleets? Simple: they vanish after 24 hours.

I imagine the name comes from the notion of “fleeting fame.” Those expiring posts “flee” from your feet after 24 hours.

Get it? Yeah, it’s not nearly as cute as I’m sure they think it is.

So why would they introduce such a feature? Well, as ABC News points out, it’s similar to the “Stories” feature on Instagram and Snapchat. When one service rolls out something, all of the others have to do something similar. That’s true no matter how much they insist that they want to be “different” from their competitors.

Honestly, I really dislike the “Stories” feature on Instagram. Too often, it’s a home for those annoying Boomerang videos that loop the same clip back and forth. There’s almost never a good reason to do that. Instagram stories also feature too much text and too little photography. And let’s face it: wasn’t Instagram supposed to be about photography to begin with?

We often see well-known Twitter users who end up deleting a tweet after being called out on it. Maybe it’s an effort to help those folks out.

Did they come up with a way to prevent fleets from being screen-captured? I doubt if that’s possible. So someone will still grab those tweets to make the poster regret them.

And on a service like Twitter, if you really want to say it, I wonder why you’d only want to say it for a single day.

Maybe you’d use it to wish someone (or yourself) a happy birthday. But wouldn’t you want them to see your well-wishes after 24 hours?

And there’s also this:

I’m not sure why we’d need fleets on Twitter. But if you use them, do use them wisely! Someone’s always watching!

Patrick is a Christian with more than 30 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.