Twitter appears to be following other social media platforms in offering disappearing messages after announcing it is testing a feature that allows tweets to vanish after 24 hours.
The Fleets function is being tested in Brazil and they are viewable by tapping on a user’s profile picture, while people can only react to Fleets with direct messages. Twitter appears to be adapting the "Stories" format that has become popular on Instagram and Snapchat.
Kayvon Beykpour, Twitter’s product lead, said the company wanted to create new features that "address some of the anxieties that hold people back from talking on Twitter".
He said: "People often tell us that they don’t feel comfortable tweeting because tweets can be seen and replied to by anybody, feel permanent and performative (how many 'likes' and retweets will this get!?)."
Every day, people come to Twitter to see what’s happening. One of the unique things about Twitter is that "what’s happening" is fueled by people sharing their thoughts openly, through Tweets. But sharing your thoughts publicly can be intimidating! ??— Kayvon Beykpour (@kayvz) March 4, 2020
While Twitter has long been popular with celebrities, media personalities and journalists, the platform has tried to make itself more user-friendly to a wider audience. It has also struggled with policing hateful content, particularly when it comes from political figures such as US president Donald Trump.
The move comes a week after Microsoft’s dominant business-to-business social network LinkedIn announced that it was testing a "stories" feature.
Snapchat was the first to introduce an ephemeral format in 2013. It was copied by Instagram in 2016 and has since been widely adopted across the social media sphere, including Facebook, WhatsApp and YouTube.