Twitter has slowed down the roll-out of Fleets — its new story feature that allows photos, video, and tweets to be shared — to fix performance issues.
Fleets is Twitter’s intriguing new imitation of Snapchat and Instagram stories, but it hasn’t yet been made available to the entire Twitterverse. The feature itself has been met with mixed results by Twitter’s millions of users. Nonetheless, despite its polarizing debut, many Twitter accounts have started adding Fleets to their profile.
Fleets began rolling out to Twitter on November 17th as a way for users to share texts, tweets, videos, and photos that remain live on their accounts for 24 hours for followers and anyone who can see a user’s full profile to check out. In a blog post, Twitter said that testing in different countries showed that users were more likely to interact with each other on the platform through Fleets. The feature seemed to help people feel more comfortable with sharing thoughts, opinions, and feelings, it said.
It’s not here for everyone though, or at least not yet. Twitter Support tweeted on November 18th to announce that the platform was slowing the rollout of Fleets in order to “fix some performance and stability problems.” The tweet also noted that users that don’t yet have the feature may not get it for another few days. The goal, according to Twitter Support, is to ensure the best experience for every user.
The Different Features Of Twitter Fleets
As mentioned, Fleets aren’t entirely different from stories on other platforms like Instagram or Snapchat in that they are temporary posts. They can be texts, reactions to Tweets, photos, and videos, and they can be customized with several background and text options. For users who already have access to Fleets, a ‘Share in Fleet’ option will now be available by tapping the ‘Share’ icon at the bottom of a Tweet. Twitter added that stickers and live broadcasting are heading to Fleets in the future.
Twitter users will be able to see the Fleets of the people they follow at the top of their home timeline. Additionally, anyone who has access to a user’s full profile can view their Fleets as well. There are various ways to interact with Fleets too, including sending a Direct Message or emoji reaction to the author. An important distinction between Fleets and regular tweets is that Fleets do not get retweets or likes and they are not open to public replies. Responding to a Fleet automatically starts a direct message with that author.
There are other guidelines wrapped into Fleets, including Twitter’s declaration that Fleets must follow Twitter Rules just like tweets or else run the risk of being reported and having action taken against a Fleet. While it is true that some users have not received the new feature warmly — while others haven’t even been able to use it yet — Twitter has committed to updating Fleets over time with new features based on the feedback of those who use it. It might be useful then, to give this new Twitter feature time to grow, since it is still in its infancy.
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