Coming Soon: A Likely Story for Twitter – by Chris Zaccaro

Twitter is finally jumping on the bandwagon and preparing to roll out a new “story” feature for their platform, thus joining competitors Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and others. The new feature, which is currently being tested in Brazil, will be referred to as “fleets” rather than “stories.”

Like their competitors’ stories, Twitter’s fleets will be placed at the top of your feed and enable you to share pictures, videos, GIFs and text that will eventually expire and disappear—presumably after 24 hours. Many people prefer to utilize story features because they feel more comfortable posting content that’s not permanently on a platform and open for comments and reactions. This should provide these folks an avenue to interact with Twitter more often and move the needle on posting frequency. After all, according to the Pew Research Center, the top 10% of tweeters are responsible for an astounding 80% of the tweets created by all U.S. adults on Twitter.

From what has been reported, there won’t be a way to share, or in this case retweet, another person’s fleet (unless you’re sneaky and capture a screenshot or screen recording). Also, those who are tagged in a fleet by another user will not be notified. Which I find more strange than interesting. I know I want a notification when our clients or firm—or myself with my personal pages—are tagged by someone else.

What appears to be a welcome feature within fleets is the ability to post clickable links, regardless of your number of followers or verification status. But as we all (should) know, you should only click on links from trusted sources. Not some profile with 2 followers that still has an egg for a profile picture.

So will Twitter fleets be fleeting? It has been reported for over a year now that stories will eventually overtake news feeds as the primary way users view social media content—but until now the story feature has only applied to the aforementioned Twitter competitors like Facebook and Instagram. Twitter is a bit of a different animal, with a different audience. It will be interesting to see if the Twitterverse accepts and utilizes fleets or if they will eventually go the way of Google+, the social media dodo bird, and disappear like a story hitting the 24-hour mark.

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