Twitter has found itself amid another controversy, after introducing ‘Fleets’ – a new disappearing-tweets feature that users were not exactly clamoring for and, thus, instantly mocked.
“That thing you didn’t Tweet but wanted to but didn’t but got so close but then were like nah,” reads Twitter’s somewhat confusing description of the new function implemented on Tuesday.
That thing you didn’t Tweet but wanted to but didn’t but got so close but then were like nah.
We have a place for that now—Fleets!
Rolling out to everyone starting today. pic.twitter.com/auQAHXZMfH
— Twitter (@Twitter) November 17, 2020
More precisely, the feature now allows mobile Twitter users to post pictures, videos, audio, or text messages that will appear in a separate media feed from the regular timeline – and disappear after 24 hours. Any social media-savvy person would notice that ‘Fleets’ seem to be exactly the same as Instagram’s ‘Stories’ feature.
“Those new to Twitter found Fleets to be an easier way to share what’s on their mind,” the company wrote in a press release, adding, “Because they disappear from view after a day, Fleets helped people feel more comfortable sharing personal and casual thoughts, opinions, and feelings.”
Despite these noble goals, the feature has been largely received with mockery and ridicule. For a start, some Twitter users just couldn’t get used to the name ‘Fleets’.
Twitter stories being called fleets just don’t sound right. “Go watch my Fleet” lmaooooo pic.twitter.com/QPNxV2DC1J
— Dee Holt ♏️❄️➏ (@D_1andOnly_) November 17, 2020
Apparently Twitter is allowing us to post Fleets, now? I’ll give it a try. Did it work? 🛸 pic.twitter.com/n6PCodksDx
— Joonas Suotamo (@JoonasSuotamo) November 17, 2020
Others derided Twitter for pointlessly “copying” Instagram, pointing out that each platform has a different user base and function. “Fleets are just another example of how capitalism breeds innovation,” quipped one critic.
— Vishal Verma (@VishalVerma_9) November 17, 2020
UM WHY DOES MY TWITTER LOOK LIKE IG ???? FLEETS ???? pic.twitter.com/01y77A7Z6r
— lauren ✄ (@laurDIY) November 17, 2020
fleets are just another example of how capitalism breeds innovation <3 a totally new & great idea! take that commies pic.twitter.com/crAOHti3uZ
— roisin (@roisinbella) November 17, 2020
📌 Stop copying functionality for a platform that does not thrive on that level of storytelling.
— Katy Spencer Johnson, SMS (@katyb_spencer) November 17, 2020
One of the platform’s ‘heavyweights’, progressive US Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also chimed in, saying that Fleets “stressed her out” by being too reminiscent of Instagram. “I use Twitter to get away from IG stories, not have it follow me around on every platform reminding me that I don’t have makeup on,” she jokingly complained.
Does the fleets thing stress anyone else out? Like I use Twitter to get away from IG stories, not have it follow me around on every platform reminding me that I don’t have makeup on
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) November 17, 2020
As usually happens with major Twitter updates, some users lamented that Fleets had been prioritized ahead of the long-requested option to edit already posted tweets.
Twitter gave us Fleets but we still can’t edit tweets pic.twitter.com/YvGMdV8J05
— Aye Yo B (@BeSmoove7) November 17, 2020
twitter really added stories before an edit button im sick
— e (@enx___) November 17, 2020
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