Twitter’s latest test feature – a new beginning or the death knell?

Twitter’s latest test feature – a new beginning or the death knell?

Microblogging site Twitter has recently confirmed that it is in the process of testing a new feature that would bring it in line with other social media platforms.

The feature is called Fleets and is pretty similar in functionality to the Stories feature that already exists on a number of other social media sites, including Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. Twitter’s Product Lead, Kayvon Beykpour, announced the test via the platform, including details of how it would look, even acknowledging that people may make direct comparisons to the Stories feature.

Fleets will be different to regular tweets, and will disappear after 24 hours. These posts will not be able to be retweeted, liked or responded to publicly. They can only be responded to via a direct message and will be accessed by tapping on the account’s avatar/profile picture. Furthermore, Fleets will not appear in the main timeline, so shouldn’t become as much of issue for those opposed to the feature as other platforms, where it is pinned to the top of the page.

The feature is currently being tested in Brazil on both iOS and Android versions of the app and even though it is still in its test stage, it has received a backlash from around the world, with #RIPTwitter trending worldwide on Thursday. One of the main criticisms of the feature is that few have asked for it. Meanwhile, the features that users continually request, primarily a function to edit tweets, are constantly ignored.

It is believed that the site is doing this as part of an effort to make its users feel more comfortable sharing content on the platform. It is reported that users can be put off by knowing anyone can reply to their tweets and the metrics associated with them. Users also feel like tweets are more permanent that other social sites as they cannot be edited, but can be manually deleted. In an attempt to combat this, it will look at introducing Fleets.

It would seem that Twitter is making this move with the everyday user in mind, but should businesses be considering using this? Will it be of any relevance to them?

With Twitter making these change to move it in line with other social media sites, businesses may need to consider their own social media strategies. Is simply tweeting about an industry-related news item enough anymore? Should a business be using features like Fleets and Stories? Will this be of any benefit in a B2B world?

If you are struggling with your social media strategy and are looking for some help, get in touch with the team at Engage Web.

Operations Manager at Engage Web
Drawing from a broad pool of experience that ranges from university studies in English Language to his work as a medical receptionist in a busy GP practice, Alan fits right at home as Engage Web’s Operations Manager.
Alan Littler
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