Twitter Introduces Fleets—Tweets That Disappear After 24 Hours

This morning, Twitter users awoke to a brand new option: Fleets. These "fleeting tweets" disappear forever after 24 hours, making it the perfect option for users who always second-guess themselves--tweeting and then deleting--or feel remorse about something they posted from days ago (or longer). If you haven't checked your account yet, go ahead and open it--Fleets will already be there waiting.

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A Twitter logo displayed on a mobile phone. OLIVIER DOULIERY/Getty

The company reports that since 2018, there have been more than 1.3 million tweets about "tweet drafts." These message are from Twitter users encouraging other people to go into the drafts of their notes, word processors, journals, etc., and release those thoughts for the world to see rather than continuing to hold them back. The thinking behind that notion is that there are too many people not sharing their thoughts to avoid the repercussions they may receive in their social media replies.

The hesitancy about tweeting every thought is real. Twitter is all about encouraging people to speak their minds, but doing so in such a public forum can feel like a lot of pressure for nearly everyone sometimes. That where Fleets comes in—those fleeting thoughts that you don't want forever shared will be gone within a day.

The Fleets service isn't solely designed for the timid, though. Let's say you're rooting for your favorite football team while watching a live game and want to share your enthusiasm with fellow fans on Twitter; those updated scores you keep posting will no longer clog up your Twitter profile page. If you're not a sports fan, the same logic applies to anything, like say tweeting your many thoughts about Tyra Banks' outfit this week on Dancing With the Stars.

A company spokesperson told Newsweek that through through "tests in Brazil, Italy, India, and South Korea, we learned Fleets helped people feel more comfortable joining the conversation – we saw people with Fleets talk more on Twitter. Those new to Twitter found Fleets to be an easier way to share what's on their mind. Because they disappear from view after a day, Fleets helped people feel more comfortable sharing personal and casual thoughts, opinions, and feelings."

Also, another appealing aspect of fleets are they don't have "likes," "retweets," or public "replies." The only want to respond to a fleet is privately via Direct Message. Therefore, you need to worry about public scrutiny even for the duration of 24 hours.

Using it is meant to be really user-friendly, as well. You have the option of creating a fleet on your homepage, or grabbing an existing tweet and "fleeting" it. And it's not just for text, you can also fleet photos and videos. And to keep current with the fleets of people you follow, their fleets will appear at the top of your timeline in circles with the users' profile pic (not unlike Stories on Instagram/Facebook).

Since it's still brand-new, expect Fleets to develop more over time with other features, updates, and tools. Another thing to expect is Twitter will continue to remain committed to preventing the spread of misinformation and harassing messages as much as possible, even with the quickly-disappearing fleets. Twitter's spokesperson told Newsweek that "like tweets, fleets must follow the Twitter Rules. Fleets will be labeled as tweets are, per our guidelines People should report fleets that they think violate our rules directly to us. Our teams and systems will also be proactively monitoring for rule violations in Fleets, and we'll take enforcement action against rule violations in Fleets."